When it comes to orthodontic treatment, you are likely to assume that this is primarily a teen issue. While adults may get orthodontic work at any time in their lives, it is during the middle school and high school years that it is most typical to see young adults who are wearing braces, retainers, clear aligners, head gear, and other orthodontic appliances.
While it is true that this is the stage when most patients receive treatment, you would be surprised to find out that an orthodontist can actually intervene at a much younger age.
Red Flags Can Come Up at a Young Age
As early as the age of two or three, an orthodontist can already pick up on problems with a child’s jaw and teeth. Whether teeth fail to erupt properly or the bite is out of alignment, the first signs can be noticeable.
The dentist or a child’s doctor is often first to pinpoint a problem and suggest an evaluation by an orthodontist. Even if there is no obvious concern, it is recommended to have children see an orthodontist by age seven.
Why Age Seven is a Good Time to Make an Orthodontic Appointment
At the young age of seven, a great deal is going on in a child’s mouth. There can be various patterns of development that can raise concern.
An orthodontist will be able to determine what is within the normal range of development and what is a problem. When it comes to orthodontics, one of the biggest problems is a lack of space.
Although age seven is very young, an orthodontist has a keen eye and the background knowledge to recognize if a child does not have enough room for the eruption of permanent teeth.
The next step is to create a course of treatment that could prevent a child from needing major orthodontic treatment later on down the line.
Better to Act Sooner than Later
In many cases, an orthodontist can be proactive and make recommendations that will help to resolve problems for a child before they become full-blown issues.
A palatal expander, spacers, and a variety of appliances may be helpful in manipulating the development of a child’s jaw.
It’s also possible to address issues such as mouth breathing, problems that arise from thumb sucking, or baby teeth that are not lost when expected.
Regardless of what the issue is, the more involved forms of treatment usually begin in the early teen years.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Treatment at Any Age
If you have missed the ideal window of opportunity for orthodontic treatment, it’s not too late to get help. Contact the office of Dr. Brodie Bowman, DMD today to make an appointment.
The orthodontist will use the power of knowledge and experience, as well as digital imaging, in order to find the best solutions for your orthodontic issues so you can make the most of your smile.