Why Kids Should be Screened by an Orthodontist by AGE 7

Why Kids Should be Screened by an Orthodontist by AGE 7

Prevention is always the preferred medical approach when compared with any type of treatment. Orthodontic treatment is widely known to be the least invasive form of dental treatment as the teeth aren’t physically changed except for their alignment and bite improvement during the orthodontic process. However, it is the solemn goal of the orthodontists in our office to only perform orthodontic treatment when there is a concrete need and well-established goals for the treatment.

In this regard, the early examination of a young developing child by a board certified orthodontist will assure parents that their child is growing and developing their teeth and jaws appropriately and that anything that could cause significant future issues should be detected and addressed before larger problems manifest.

We do hear all the time that many parents with kids around age 7 who are hesitant about going to the orthodontist, thinking they should let their kids enjoy their childhoods “equipment-free” and that the orthodontist just wants to sell them something. We hear you and we understand your concerns. But, we also sincerely know that when parents do bring their youngsters in for orthodontic examinations that we will provide honest, caring advice about their child’s growth and development.

Dr. AJ says, “I love meeting 7 years olds. In fact, nothing gives me more joy than establishing a relationship with a young child and their parents and educating them about normal growth and development. And, when I see something abnormal, my goal is to explain the issue in a very easy to understand way and to promote the same solution for your children that I would provide to my own son or daughter. We use a lot of analogies and videos to explain problems and demonstrate solutions. I don’t think many parents regret coming to this visit, especially those that were hesitant to do so in the first place.”

But we assure parents that if the child needs interceptive orthodontics while baby teeth are still present, doing it as early as possible corrects the problem fast and will definitely prevent bigger problems down the road – which definitely helps promote children having a better experience with orthodontic treatment!

The American Association of Orthodontists recommend that all children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7 to screen for normal growth and development as this is the age when the molars and front teeth typically arrive and most early intervention problems manifest during this timeframe.

Your orthodontist can detect problems in jaw growth and emerging and existing teeth even if everything “looks straight.”

  • Early treatment or interceptive orthodontics prevent serious problems before they develop, making treatment much faster and less complicated and preventing extractions or facial asymmetries.
  • In some cases, you’ll get results not possible at all when the face and jaws have already finished growing.

Interceptive orthodontics give your doctor and your child plenty of advantages.

  • Correct harmful oral habits (thumb sucking, nail biting, etc)
  • Guided jaw growth and improved appearance (lips, jaws, cheeks)
  • Lowered risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Guide permanent teeth into more ideal positions
  • Create space for future erupting teeth when inadequate

Does your child have any of the following issues?

  • Overcrowded baby teeth, early loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing and biting
  • Jaw growth irregularities, disproportionate jaws (asymmetry in the face)
  • Jaws that click, shift or make noise as they move
  • Malocclusions (bite misalignment – crossbites, underbites, overbites)

If yes, we can often solve them much easier and faster when you go to the orthodontist at the recommended age. See our tips about Baby’s First Trip to the Dentist if you or your child are nervous. That’s okay! We’ll make you comfortable and the first visit is often a visit. We talk to your child and get to know him/her first. That’s all. There is absolutely zero pressure to do any treatment at the initial visit.

Every child is different. An early screening at the orthodontist gives your child the best, appropriate treatment he/she may need to have a healthy, beautiful smile.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have 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. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932