By age 7, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. That’s important, because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re found early.
For these reasons, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child gets an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Of course, the check-up may reveal that you child’s bite is fine, and that can be comforting news.
Even if a problem is detected, Dr. Valley may take a “wait-and-see” approach, checking on your child from time to time as the permanent teeth come in and the jaws and face continue to grow. For each patient who needs treatment, there’s an ideal time for treatment to begin in order to achieve the best results.
In some cases, Dr. Valley might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment. Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing, and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Typically, early treatment involves the use of orthodontic appliances to guide the growth of your child's bones and create a better foundation for adult teeth as they emerge. In some cases, Dr. Valley will be able to achieve results that wouldn’t be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.