Seventh Birthday Approaching? Time For a Visit to the Orthodontist!

Many parents associate braces and orthodontics with their teen years but you may be surprised to learn that the best time for your little one to have their first orthodontic visit is around their 7th birthday. We know, we know – they’re still running around the jungle gym and not exhibiting any tween behavior (at least we hope not for your sake!). That said, the Canadian Association of Orthodontics recommends children be seen by an orthodontist at age seven and we at Bytown Orthodontics absolutely agree.

Why by age seven?

By age 7, your child’s mouth has matured enough for a trained orthodontic eye to spot current and future issues. We can then provide recommendations that will help guide their jaw and teeth into a healthier place for an easier straight smile later on.

There are many benefits to seeking an orthodontic assessment as a child; these include prevention of impacted teeth, identifying jaw discrepancies early so timing for intervention is planned optimally and early identification of habits that may affect dental development. When appropriate, early advice or orthodontic treatment can:

  • Guide teeth into desired positions early
  • Guide jaw growth
  • Minimize crowding/creating room for erupting teeth
  • Correct the results of oral habits like thumb and finger sucking

At Bytown Orthodontics, we acknowledge that a significant proportion of orthodontic treatment is best timed during adolescence. However, some will benefit most from a ‘2-Phase’ approach so that small problems don’t become big problems with time. In these situations we think of early orthodontics as a two phase solution.

  • Phase 1 works with your young child to ensure the ability to modify growth is maximized and space is preserved for his or her permanent teeth.
  • Phase 2 begins once those teeth have arrived.

If you recommend early orthodontics for my child, does that mean they won’t need braces as a teen?

Early treatment (phase 1) can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent additional problems from developing, and simplify future treatment, but oftentimes additional treatment is still indicated for an optimal result. That said, children who have undergone early orthodontic treatment typically wear braces or Clear Aligners for a shorter period of time in the teen years than those who have not undergone early intervention.

If I bring my child to you at age 7 are you definitely going to recommend early orthodontics?

Nope! Every child is different and we customize every treatment plan to the individual. Early treatment does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all permanent teeth have come in; some skeletal orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or complete. Dr. Chambers and Dr. Bourassa develop a customized treatment plan based on each individual child’s needs.

In order to create a custom treatment plan for your child, we need to see you! Call our office at (613) 518-1145 or click here to learn more and schedule your appointment.We can’t wait to meet you and your seven year old!

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