When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Begining treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. Ther American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or not later then age 7. At this realy age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
WHY SCREEN BY AGE 7?
• The anterior-posterior occlusion is established when the first molars erupt. At that time, one can evaluate the antero-posterior and transverse relationships of the occlusion, as well as discover any functional shifts.
• Incisors have begun to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, habits, deep bites, open bites and some facial asymmetries.
For some, a timely screening will lead to significant treatment benefits; for most, the principal immediate benefit is a parent’s peace of mind.
• The dentist who makes timely referrals is rightly regarded as informed, caring and concerned for the total well being of the patient.
THE BENEFITS OF EARLY TREATMENT
For those who have clear indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:
Influence jaw growth in a positive manner
Harmonize width of the dental arches
Improve eruption patterns
Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors
Correct harmful oral habits
Improve aesthetics and self esteem
Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics
Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
Improve some speech problems
Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth
Early orthodontic screening can lead to simpler, more effective treatment for dental patients or at the least, peace of mind.