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Age seven is the magic number

Ever wonder when your child should see an orthodontist? Don't wait until all the permanent teeth have arrived. The American Association of Orthodontists recommend that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven.

Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons why your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner.

The following are reasons why your child should get an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven:

1. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.

2. While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.

3. The check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.

4. Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.

5. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

6. Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:

guide jaw growth

lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth

correct harmful oral habits

improve appearance

guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

improve the way lips meet

7. Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you'll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

Remember, the magic number is seven. Take the first step and schedule an important consultation with an orthodontist today.