Research conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) found that many children are going to their first orthodontic evaluation later than recommended.
The AAO recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Due to the unique nature of our practice putting together both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics in the same office, you can rest assured that your child is being screened for potential problems with the development of teeth, jaws and the face at the correct age. Our pediatric dentists have extensive training in facial and dental growth and development and know when to refer to the orthodontist.
In the United States at large, however, research is showing only 22.7% of kids have been properly screened for developing orthodontic problems between ages 7 to 8. The majority of children didn’t see an orthodontist until ages 12 to 14.
This is definitely not ideal for our children. There are a host of problems that, if caught in time, can become very small issues as opposed to very big ones. And, it will help guarantee our children are treated during the optimal stages of growth. Growth is incredibly important to achieving all desired orthodontic goals in a timely way.
Most parents don’t know the recommended age to see an orthodontist.
Many of the young patients’ parents surveyed said they thought you had to wait for most if not all of the permanent teeth to come in. That seems like common sense. But what if your child’s orthodontic issues prevent the teeth from erupting on time, in the right place or at all? What if there is some developmental asymmetry that could lead to a permanent asymmetry if not addressed before the growth spurt. Many of these issues can be solved earlier with interceptive orthodontics, or even prevented before they become problems.
This way, any treatment still needed when the complete set of permanent teeth come in will be greatly reduced in complexity.
Most parents wait to be referred.
They wait for their general dentist to mention an orthodontist. That’s also understandable as there is a certain trust between patient and doctor. We truly want all children to develop typically on their own, at the right time. However, it does not work out that way for many youngsters and we offer complimentary orthodontic examinations to help benefit our parent’s peace of mind that their child is on the right track.
Don’t wait. Be proactive for your child’s dental health.
Many of our patients’ parents have said this: “We wish we’d known to come sooner.” And the parents who have taken their younger kids to us are always glad about doing so. We promise to be an advocate for your child and to explain everything in clear and concise fashion so that you can make the best decisions for your child’s health.
Call to book your appointment today at 586-286-0700 with one of our orthodontists. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the hygienist or doctor about your 7-8 year old when they come in for their cleaning visit and examination if you are curious about your child’s development.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.