Visit an orthodontist by age 7

Visit an orthodontist by age 7
Posted on 10/13/2017

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Visit an orthodontist by age 7

Reasons to visit the orthodontist at age 7

1.  Account for extra and missing teeth

2.  Check for teeth developing out of place

3.  Address reasons for bad bites (breathing problems, habits, contributing factors)

4.  Fix problems while bone is still soft and malleable

5.  Correct problems before they progress to a worse condition

There are many reasons that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child receive an orthodontic evaluation by age seven. Most parents (and even some dentists) think that one must wait for all of the primary (baby) teeth to fall out prior to getting braces. While in the majority of cases this is true, some issues need early intervention to prevent worsening of your condition. A visit to the medical doctor does not mean you’re getting a prescription and in like manner a visit to the orthodontist does not mean you’re getting braces. A visit to the orthodontist can be thought of as a wellness visit. The following paragraphs explain what an orthodontic wellness visit at age seven can screen. We seek to correct problems before they progress to a worse condition.

Account for extra and missing teeth

At age seven the buds of permanent teeth are nearly always formed. These teeth buds are not all visually present in the mouth (not fully erupted), however, they can be accounted for on a radiograph (an “x-ray”). When missing teeth or extra teeth are accounted for at an early age solutions can be put in place to correct these problems. Missing teeth can be a hereditary condition. When teeth are missing it is normally the furthest back of a given type of tooth. For example a third molar, second premolar or a lateral incisor are the most commonly missing teeth.

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age seven 1aCheck for teeth developing out of place

At age 7 the path of eruption can largely be predicted. Most of the time teeth will head to their correct position, however, for various reason teeth will misbehave and head out of their correct position. When teeth leave their intended path we say that they are ECTOPIC. In this sense an orthodontist acts as an air traffic controller directing the course of crowded or colliding teeth.

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age seven 2aAddress reasons for bad bites (breathing problems, habits, contributing factors)

Proper forces placed on teeth and bones can correct deformities. In like manner, unhealthly forces, however gentle, can deform the face and cause teeth to be out of place. At age seven, these unhealthy conditions can be corrected and allow the face and teeth to develop properly. Truly an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Common issues that can be addressed at this age include: thumb sucking, mouth breathing, tongue thrusts, allergies, large adenoids/tonsils. When addressed early, these factors can greatly improve the development of the face and teeth.

age seven 3Fix problems while bone is still soft and malleable

Most of us have seen little babies who wear helmets to correct misshaped heads due to traumatic birth. In like manner, the lower part of the face can be shaped through the proper application of light forces. Teeth move through bone with less force at younger ages than at older ages. While there are many techniques to fix jawbone issues and poorly aligned teeth in teenagers and adults, most issues are resolved with less complicated intervention in the younger years.

Correct problems before they progress to a worse condition

A child who is in 5th grade and reading at a 3rd grade level needs tutoring to get them on grade level. Similarly, children whose teeth are not developing in a way that is normal for their age need intervention to get them back on track. A seven-year-old’s mouth that is not on track for proper development can be manipulated through orthodontic intervention to get their mouth to be on pace with other children’s normal orthodontic development.

 

In our office, orthodontic evaluations are complimentary. Schedule an appointment for your child today!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.