When is Right for a Child’s First Ortho Appointment?

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As dental understanding has increased over the years, more and more kids have been getting braces and other bits of care from an orthodontist much earlier than they used to in the past. Where braces were almost exclusively a teenage thing even just a decade or two ago, now they’re being seen in much younger children far more often.

At St. John’s Orthodontics, this is also the case. If you’re wondering when the right time is to bring your child in for an oral evaluation that might lead to braces, we can help you determine when that time is. Here are a few factors that play a role.

Early Signs

For starters, there are a couple basic early signs that should be an immediate signal that you should see an orthodontist no matter how old they are. If adult teeth begin to come in very early, or if the mouth is far too crowded with teeth that are causing bite or chewing issues, visit an orthodontist as soon as you’re able.

“Dental Age”

As long as none of the issues mentioned above are present, your child’s first major orthodontic evaluation will actually depend on what’s called “dental age” rather than their actual age. Dental age refers to the stage the mouth is in – it can be very different from actual age in some cases. This is a detailed consideration that only a trained orthodontist and their staff can make – ask our staff about your child’s dental age at your next appointment.

Actual Age

Now, this doesn’t mean actual age is irrelevant. All children should see an orthodontist at least once between the ages of seven and nine, regardless of dental age or any other factors. This is true even if the child doesn’t have all their permanent teeth yet – an orthodontist can generally predict their growth pattern by this point.

For more on when to get your child examined by an orthodontist, or to learn about our affordable braces options or any of our other services, speak to the pros at St. John’s Orthodontics today.

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