By age seven, 75 percent of a child’s total facial growth has occurred. By this time, the first permanent molars and permanent incisors should have erupted, and are already establishing the groundwork for the future, adult bite. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that an initial orthodontic evaluation for children should occur by age seven. Orthodontic treatment may not be necessary at this age, but an orthodontist who is properly trained in early orthodontic treatment can determine the best time to initiate treatment.

We understand that it’s not always easy for a parent to know if their child has an orthodontic problem. Even though your child’s teeth may appear to be well aligned, there may be problems that are only detectable by a thorough orthodontic evaluation.

An early exam provides the opportunity for both a timely detection of potential problems and more effective treatment. At this exam, Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Brad Edgren. will not only evaluate crowding and front to back problems (overbite and underbite), but also developing facial asymmetries, side to side (crossbites), and vertical (openbite and deepbite) issues. If your child’s problems are significant enough to require early interceptive treatment, additional treatment later (Phase II), as a teenager, is often necessary.

The benefits of early orthodontic treatment are immeasurable. Early treatment improves a child’s appearance and thus their self-esteem that benefits from an attractive, healthy smile. Early orthodontic correction also reduces the need for permanent tooth extraction by eliminating impactions and creating space. It also enhances facial symmetry through positive facial growth and diminishes the need for jaw surgery.