Parents often wonder “When should I bring my children to the orthodontist for the first time?” There is a common misperception that the child needs to have all of their permanent teeth prior to seeing an orthodontist, which is definitely not the case. There is also a misperception that your dentist needs to make the referral to the orthodontist, but no referral is ever required to schedule a complimentary orthodontic evaluation at Gehring Orthodontics.
In fact, the best time for an initial orthodontic evaluation is around seven years of age. This is an ideal time to assess the bite and screen for other potentially damaging problems. At this stage the upper and lower front teeth are usually erupting which allows us to evaluate for problems such as crossbites, overbites, underbites, openbites and problems related to excess crowding or spacing – all common orthodontic corrections.
Many times these early orthodontic problems do not require immediate treatment. Sometimes the problems are mild enough that treatment can be delayed several more years. However, early treatment intervention with fairly simple treatment methods can often greatly reduce the severity of a problem, resulting in much simpler treatment once all of the remaining permanent teeth erupt. Sometimes cosmetic issues can also have a negative effect on a child’s self-esteem and emotional health, which can be another valid reason for simple early orthodontic treatment and intervention.
While it is never too late to schedule an orthodontic evaluation for your child, the age of seven or eight is an ideal time to schedule an appointment for a complimentary initial examination at Gehring Orthodontics.