According to the American Association of Orthodontists, about 25% to 50% of kids require orthodontic treatment. Many parents wonder when they should start to take their child to see an orthodontist. Read on for some signs that your child should see an orthodontist.

Orthodontic Problems

Appropriate screening tools determine if your child is experiencing orthodontic problems. These can include a basic visual exam, panoramic X-rays, and oral measurements such as cephalometric radiographs. Orthodontists recommend doing these exams on children at seven years old. However, it is not uncommon for them to recommend getting an early screening during a routine checkup when certain physical characteristics indicate that your child may need orthodontic treatment down the road. Don’t hesitate to visit an orthodontist if you feel something is wrong with your child’s teeth, jaw, or bite.

Post-Growth Spurt

Your child must still be growing to get the most accurate orthodontic evaluation and treatment results. Orthodontic problems can usually be determined early on by taking simple measurements. A good rule of thumb is if your child still has an active growth spurt ahead of them, they should not be treated until after it has been completed, as this will affect the outcome of their orthodontic treatment. An orthodontic specialist must evaluate your child by seven years old to determine whether or not they are done growing. If they have completed their growth spurt, treatment can begin to correct the alignment of teeth and jaws.

Severe Existing Orthodontic Conditions

Orthodontic treatment generally consists of braces affixed to teeth and removable appliances such as retainers or headgear. Depending on the severity of a child’s condition, treatment can last from as little as six months to as long as three years. In cases where it is determined that orthodontic intervention is necessary, early detection and treatment are key to ensuring the fewest corrections possible while achieving an optimal result.

The consensus from health organizations and professionals in oral medicine is that children should begin seeing an orthodontist around seven or eight years old. However, it is never too early for a parent to take their child to get a checkup if they have any questions concerning their oral health, including alignment issues. Contact the friendly team at Nowlin Orthodontics today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!