When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

When most parents think of going to the orthodontist for the first time, they picture a teenager with all their adult teeth. You may be surprised to learn that the American Association of Orthodontics recommends children be seen by an orthodontist at the age of seven, and we at Reichheld Ting Orthodontics absolutely agree!

Why by age seven?

By age 7, your child’s mouth has matured enough for a trained orthodontic eye to spot current and future issues. We can then make corrections that will help guide their jaw and teeth into a healthier place for an easier straight smile later on.

There are many benefits to starting orthodontic treatment as a child; these include shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth, and a reduced chance of needing to remove adult teeth. That’s because, with early orthodontics, we can:

  • Guide teeth into desired positions early
  • Monitor and Manipulate jaw growth
  • Minimize crowding/creating room for erupting teeth
  • Correct the results of oral habits like thumb and finger sucking

My child is older than seven, but their dentist hasn’t told them to see an orthodontist yet?

You don’t need to wait for a dentist to refer your child to an orthodontist. General dentists and orthodontists focus on different aspects of dental health. Our doctors are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. When it comes to facial development and bite correction, they have the knowledge and experience to give your child’s smile the best chance!

We think of early orthodontics as a two-phase solution at Reichheld Ting Orthodontics.

  • Phase 1 works with your young child to make space for their permanent teeth.
  • Phase 2 begins once those teeth have arrived.
When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

If you recommend early orthodontics for my child, does that mean they won’t need braces as a teen?

Early treatment (phase 1) can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent additional problems from developing, and simplify future treatment, but additional treatment is often. That said, children who have undergone early orthodontic treatment typically wear braces or Invisalign for a shorter period of time in the teen years than those who have not undergone early intervention. This makes life easier for both them and you, as both of your schedules get busier and busier.

And rest assured that your child will be in great hands when they reach phase 2. At Reichheld Ting Orthodontics, our doctors are familiar with the latest advances in orthodontic treatment and utilize special self-ligating metal braces, clear braces, palate expanders, and other oral appliances to formulate a treatment plan specifically for your child’s needs.  We are also Invisalign Diamond+ Providers – that means Invisalign considers us to be in the country’s top 1% of providers. With that kind of experience, you know who to trust with your treatment. 

If I bring my child to you at age 7, are you definitely going to recommend early orthodontics?

Nope! Every child is different, and we customize every treatment plan to the individual. Early treatment does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all permanent teeth have come in; some skeletal orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or complete. We can develop a customized treatment plan based on each individual child’s needs.

In order to create a custom treatment plan for your child, we need to see you! Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with us. We can’t wait to meet you and your seven-year-old!

When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

Ready to get ahead of your child’s orthodontic journey? Trust Reichheld Ting Orthodontics!

Our caring team at Reichheld Ting Orthodontics has set the standard in the Acton, Billerica, Lowell, and Westford, MA, areas for affordable, exceptional orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages. You’ll find top-notch expertise, affordable care, and state-of-the-art treatment in our care! Get in touch today for your FREE consultation to start your child’s smile journey!