Wednesday, May 31, 2017

First Orthodontic Visit at Age 7

We’re often asked by parents, “when is the best time for my child’s first orthodontics visit?”  As a rule of thumb, we suggest that children should be seen by the orthodontist by age 7.   Although most children will not require orthodontic treatment at this time there are many benefits for scheduling an initial consult at age 7.

By age 7 a child’s adult front teeth and first molars will have erupted or be in the process of erupting.  The positions of these teeth provide us as orthodontists a number of clues regarding the child’s bite that help us determine if orthodontics will be needed and when the best time to start treatment will be. 

When the child’s first adult molars erupt their position establishes the child’s bite or occlusion.  By examining the relationships of these teeth we can determine if the child’s back teeth come together correctly and if there are any cross bites or jaw shifts that might benefit from a phase of early treatment.

Additionally, by looking at the positions of the adult front teeth at this time it is possible to see if there is evidence of crowding, issues resulting from oral habits such as thumb sucking, too much or too little overlap of the front teeth or problems with the positions of the jaws.

For most patients coming to see the orthodontist at age 7 can help determine whether the child may need braces in the future and give parents peace of mind regarding their child’s dental and facial development. In a small number of select cases a short phase of early treatment around this time to correct a cross bite, regain lost space, protect front teeth at risk of trauma or to improve a child's self esteem can have significant dental and health benefits.

At Conroy & MacGilpin orthodontics we understand the value that comes with an initial orthodontic visit at age 7 and are happy to provide a complementary consultation!  We are happy to answer any questions you may have at 860 529 7200.

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