Dr. Wiesemann follows the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation that every child have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Usually the first permanent molars and permanent incisors have come in by that time. Treatment is not usually started at this age unless severe problems exist which will adversely affect the way the teeth or jaws are growing.
In such cases of severe problems, early diagnosis and treatment can help avoid the development of more serious dental problems over time, because the longer these problems go unrecognized, the harder they are to treat. Many of these orthodontic problems can be treated much easier by working with the growth that takes place in younger children. Potential benefits of early treatment might include: guiding the growth of the jaw, guiding incoming permanent teeth, regulating the width of upper and lower dental arches - making space for permanent teeth, reducing the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correcting thumb sucking, correcting abnormal swallowing or speech problems.