A child's first orthodontic dental examination should be at age seven, according to a recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontists. This age is when the permanent front teeth are coming in and is usually when the first signs of problems appear.
If the front teeth don't have room, they can crowd the rest of the teeth. Making room for these teeth may eliminate the need for permanent tooth extraction later.
Also, teeth that protrude or stick out will be subject to injury if left untreated very long, not to mention the ridicule from the child's peers that comes with having buck teeth.
Usually, crowded or protruding front teeth are a sign of an underlying growth problem in the jaw. This condition can sometimes be best treated in two phases to get a better result. Habits such as finger or thumb sucking can also be eliminated to prevent the damage from getting worse.
By the time a child becomes a young teenager, 90 percent of the facial growth has been completed. Thus, the influence that the orthodontist may have on the overall quality of the correction may be reduced if treatment is delayed until age 12.
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