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When Children Should First See an Orthodontist

When Children Should First See an Orthodontist
Posted on 05/09/2016

While our talented Longview and Vancouver WA orthodontist, Dr. Cai, can improve a smile at any age, there is an optimal time to receive orthodontic treatment. Our practice agrees with the recommendation made by American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that states children should receive their first orthodontic screening by their 7th birthday or at the first sign of orthodontic problems.

While orthodontic treatment may not be necessary at this early age, a thorough first examination can anticipate when the best time is to begin treatment. Here are some good reasons as to why parents should schedule orthodontic evaluations for their children by the age of 7.


The Back Bite is Established Early

By the time a child turns seven, the first adult molars have typically come in, establishing the back bite. This allows the orthodontist to evaluate tooth relations and discover potential problems that may need correcting such as an overbite, crowded teeth or a gummy smile.

The Growth of the Jaw Can Be Guided

Some children are in need of early orthodontic treatment to help guide jaw growth to ensure they have a proper bite. Often times, special orthodontic appliances are worn, which are designed to guide the growth of the jaw while the jaw is still developing and growing.

Can Help Break a Thumb or Finger Sucking Habit

Most children cease sucking their thumbs or fingers between the ages of 2 and 4. However, some children continue this type of bad oral habit, which can cause the crooked adult teeth and unhealthy changes to the shape of the jaw. An orthodontist can provide treatment that helps correct this type of habit to prevent future problems from occurring.

Provides the Orthodontist with Insight Into Your Child's Needs

When a child is screened early by an orthodontist, diagnostic records are taken, giving the orthodontist the opportunity to see what is happening beneath the gums. For instance, your child's orthodontist can see what positions the non-erupted teeth are in so that future treatment can be planned for if it is deemed necessary.

Paves the Way for a Lifelong, Healthy and Attractive Smile

When you take your child to an orthodontist early, you are providing him or her with the best opportunity to have an attractive and healthy smile that can last a lifetime.

Early Treatment Can Be Easier & Less Costly

If the orthodontist decides that your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment when he or she is young, this early treatment is often easier, less complicated and shorter than treatment received at a later age. Also, early orthodontic treatment is often less costly than treatment received later in life, which provides parents with a financial advantage.


Contact Our Longview and Vancouver WA Orthodontist

At the practice of Dr. Lauren Cai, we provide exceptional orthodontic care to patients of all ages. We use a variety of Longview and Vancouver WA braces to ensure we have a treatment option that meets all our patients' needs and desires. To schedule your child's first orthodontic evaluation, please contact us at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you and your child soon!

Dr. Lauren Cai

  • Longview Office - 870 12th Ave., Longview, WA 98632 Phone: 360-425-8210 Fax: 360-577-1605
  • Vancouver Office - 15593 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98684 Phone: 360-882-5090 Fax: 360-882-5121

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