Timing is everything in orthodontics. In adults, smiles can be improved at virtually any age, although in individuals under the age of 18 timing becomes extremely important. Starting treatment around the ages of 10-12, well before their adolescent growth spurt, ensures the best results and the least amount of time and expense. It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that patients receive an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. Treatment at this age may not be necessary, however it is critical to monitor and anticipate the best time for treatment, if it is needed.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Evaluations can be done at any age, but at age 7 the first adult molars begin to appear in the mouth and will soon form the back end of the bite. Also, the first front teeth begin to appear around this time and these are very important for having a beautiful smile but also one that functions properly. Early orthodontic evaluation is important because it may indicate that treatment is needed to avoid problems in the near future or provide for a more effective treatment down the road. This is done by guiding growth and development instead of moving teeth after they have already erupted into the mouth, when it may be too late. On the other hand, when orthodontic treatment is not necessary at an early age, it best to allow an orthodontist to monitor growth and development in order to start treatment when the time is most ideal, likely around the ages of 10-12.
Some benefits of Early treatment include:
- Reducing total treatment time with regular braces
- Lowering the chance of future tooth removal
- Making space for crowded and future adult teeth
- Guiding jaw growth for better future facial balance
- Lowering the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Improving esteem of very conscientious patients
- Fixing the bite to reduce pain or dysfunction