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Orthodontic Evaluation

Child brushing teeth
An orthodontic evaluation allows your child’s dentist to evaluate the early development of your child’s teeth, gums, bones and muscles in your child’s mouth. And an early Orthodontic Evaluation helps to provide you with the ability to plan ahead for your child’s dental needs.

When Should My Child Have an Orthodontic Evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontists advises parents to have their child’s Orthodontic Evaluation when the child is about 7 years old. Your child’s dentist may suggest an age that is earlier or later, depending on your child’s personal dental development, generally 7 years old is the most favorable time for your child’s first Orthodontic Evaluation.

There may be exceptions to this age. For example, if your child has sustained an injury or suffered an illness that affected his or her dental development, having an Orthodontic Evaluation at an earlier age may be necessary.

What Happens During an Orthodontic Evaluation?

During your child’s Orthodontic Evaluation the dentist will evaluate the relationships between the teeth, how close or how far apart they are to each other, as well as whether they are straight or leaning backward or forward more than they should. The dentist will evaluate the space available for your child’s adult teeth that are coming in or have not yet come in.

After the Orthodontic Evaluation your child’s dentist will talk with you and your child about the best possible orthodontic treatments that may be necessary to correct any issues seen during the evaluation. It is also possible that your child’s dentist may find that no Orthodontic treatments are needed.

If Orthodontic treatment is recommended, your child’s dentist will recommend when the treatment should begin to best resolve the issue seen during the evaluation. Early correction of dental problems allows your child’s teeth to develop in a more healthy way.

Do Not Avoid Recommended Orthodontic Treatments

Avoiding recommended orthodontic treatments may mean your child must deal with issues like crowded teeth, which are harder to floss and brush properly. Having teeth that are not positioned properly, whether protruding outward or sideways into the space another tooth occupies, may affect your child’s speech patterns, as the position of the tongue and teeth are important in our ability to form words and speak clearly. And it is also important to your child’s self-esteem and confidence that their teeth are a healthy reflection of who they are as they grow and develop into young adults.

Once we have reached adulthood, our bones and muscles have had longer to develop and it is harder for our bones and muscles to make the changes needed for dental health. But while your child’s teeth, gums, and bone structure are still developing, any potential irregular developments are more easily resolved while your child is at a younger age. Your child’s Orthodontic Evaluation gives you the opportunity to help your child have the best dental health and the best smile possible, and allows your child to more confidently face the challenges that are ahead.