Our Albuquerque, New Mexico orthodontist, Dr. Tommy Dunn along with his friendly staff are proud to offer our patients high quality orthodontic care in our warm and inviting office environment. While an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time to begin treatment. We agree with the recommendation made by the American Association of Orthodontists which states that a child should be seen by an orthodontist for the first time by the age of 7 or at the first sign of an orthodontic problem.
Why Start Treatment At Age 7?
While it may seem young, a child should receive his or her first orthodontic evaluation by the time he or she reaches the age of seven. This is when the first molars have erupted to establish the back bite, allowing an orthodontist to evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. Starting treatment at an early age helps ensure the best results will be obtained and with the least amount of time and expense.
When orthodontic problems are detected early in life, it can prevent more serious problems from developing later on. Even if orthodontic treatment is not necessary at such a young age, Dr. Hurt can continue to monitor the child’s growth and development so that any treatment necessary can start later on at a more ideal time.
How Does Interceptive Treatment Benefit Your Child?
Early interceptive treatment can:
- Create room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Create facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
- Reduce the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserve space for un-erupted teeth
- Reduce or eliminate the need to pull teeth
- Reduce the time spent wearing braces
Is Your Child a Candidate for Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontics can provide your child with many benefits in addition to giving them a more beautiful smile. Orthodontic treatment can also improve ‘bad bites’ or malocclusions. Malocclusions occur due to the misalignment of the teeth or jaws and they can affect how your child smiles, chews, cleans the teeth and feels about his or her smile.
If left untreated, malocclusions can cause many problems such as:
- Difficulty cleaning the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay or gum disease
- Accidental chipping of protruding teeth
- Unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear if there is a cross-bite present
- Tongue-thrusting habits and speech problems if an open bite is present
As you can see, orthodontics can do much more than create attractive smiles; it also assists patients in maintaining their overall health.