Early orthodontic consultation: Why age 7?
Timing is key when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Gone are the days of waiting for all of the baby teeth to fall out before starting orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists now prefer to see children while many of the baby teeth are still in place. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children are seen by an orthodontist by age 7 for an initial consultation to detect any tooth or jaw development discrepancies.
An early orthodontic consultation sets the table for a smooth orthodontic journey for your child by ensuring that treatment is initiated at the right time in their growth and development. Correction of certain tooth and jaw issues may also save your child from more comprehensive orthodontic treatment in the future.
What occurs at the initial consultation?
A complimentary initial consultation at Vivid Orthodontics takes approximately an hour to complete.
The visit will start with two x-rays and a series of photos of your child’s teeth. Dr. Maslowski or Dr. Michel will then evaluate those records and complete an examination of your child’s mouth and teeth.
There are several issues they will look for at the initial consultation including:
- Baby teeth falling out early or late
- Extra teeth or missing permanent teeth
- Unnatural spacing, crowded teeth and teeth erupting out of place
- Underbites, crossbites and jaw deviations that may impact how the jaws grow
- Constricted airways which can contribute to difficulty breathing, persistent snoring or grinding of the teeth.
- Harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking
If any of the above issues are detected, Dr. Maslowski or Dr. Michel may recommend starting interceptive orthodontic treatment, sometimes referred to as “Phase One” treatment. They will go over their treatment recommendations and discuss the benefits of the treatment.
Interceptive orthodontic treatment does not always involve traditional braces. Dr. Maslowski or Dr. Michel will likely recommend a specific appliance that will move teeth, guide the position of the jaw or hold permanent teeth in place.
What happens if no treatment is needed early?
If doctors determine that your child isn’t quite ready for treatment, your child will be placed on observation. In the observation period, your child will be seen every 6-12 months for short exams to monitor tooth development as they grow. By doing so, doctors are able to get started with orthodontic treatment at the optimal time in your child’s growth pattern. All of these observation visits are done at no charge. Your child will remain on our observation program until they are ready for orthodontic treatment or until it is determined that no treatment is necessary.
Schedule your complimentary consultation
If your child hasn’t seen an orthodontist yet, don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary consultation. No dentist referral is needed. Call us at (920) 231-4922 to schedule a visit in our Oshkosh or Wautoma locations or (920) 739-2400 in our Appleton location. We proudly serve the Fox Valley including Oshkosh, Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Little Chute, Grand Chute, Kaukauna and Greenville.