The American Association of Orthodontists advises children to be seen and evaluated by an orthodontist by the time they're seven years old. Why so young? Because many serious orthodontic issues can be avoided when treatment begins while the child's jaws and mouth are still growing. When the bones are still relatively soft, it can be easier to correct overcrowding and other issues using special devices used to create additional space for teeth. At age seven, the first adult molars can begin to shift downward and emerge. Seeing the orthodontist while your child is still young can make future treatment faster and less costly, or possibly avoid treatment all together.
Interceptive orthodontics includes preventive treatments that can help identify alignment and crowding issues early on and take steps to help correct them. Treatments are designed to “intercept” issues that emerge as the teeth are growing.
Expanders, or palate expanders, are devices that gently widen the palate as it's growing to help ensure there will be enough space for adult teeth as they emerge, When used in young children, palate expanders can help shorten the duration of orthodontic treatment when the child gets older.
Yes; even though baby teeth may appear straight, the adult teeth may be poorly positioned beneath the gum, resulting in alignment issues when they finally emerge. Also, adult teeth are larger, so even though baby teeth may be straight, adult teeth may be crowded and become crooked once they emerge from beneath the gums.
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