The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first see an orthodontist by the age of 7. By this age, the first permanent molars and incisors will have come in by that time and issues with crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be identified. While most orthodontic treatments will not begin until age 9 to 16, by age 7 most issues with jaw growth or tooth eruption problems can be identified.
Orthodontic problems are more easily treated when they are identified at an earlier age. Early treatment allows the orthodontist to regulate the width of the upper and lower jaw, ensure enough space for permanent teeth, and avoid the need for permanent teeth extractions. The orthodontist can also address issues with thumb sucking and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment!
Braces for Teens
The teenage years are often the optimal time to pursue orthodontic treatments because the adolescent face and jaw is still growing. Patients treated at this age often achieve excellent, efficient results.
Treatment is often recommended at this age because the emotional side of an unattractive smile can affect a teen for years. When children and teens are not confident in the way they look, self-esteem can suffer. Teens who have their orthodontic problems treated will no longer feel embarrassed or self-conscious of their smile.