At What Age Should A Child See An Orthodontist For The First Time?

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At What Age Should A Child See An Orthodontist For The First Time?

orthodontist st louis

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should be seen by an orthodontist in St. Louis the first time when they have reached the age of 7. You’re probably asking why that age? Granted, not every orthodontic problem can be treated at such an early age. However, there are some dental problems that an orthodontist can identify once the child has reached that age.

Loss of Baby or Primary Teeth

For instance, one of the first things that an orthodontist looks for is the loss of baby teeth and the eruption of the permanent teeth through their gums. What you may not realize is that a child’s baby teeth fall out in a specific pattern. Should an orthodontist see any deviations in that, this may indicate the need for attention because of certain developmental issues.

The specific order in which a child loses their baby teeth and they are replaced by their permanent ones goes something like this. The first 8 primary teeth usually fall out between 6 and 8 years of age. By the time they have reached the age of 6, they should have 4 permanent molars. These are oftentimes referred to as “6-year molars.” By the age of 7, there should be a total of 8 permanent teeth – 4 incisors and 4 molars.

Should there be fewer or more teeth than what is estimated here at those ages, the orthodontist will look for specific problems such as crowding, extra, or missing teeth. In some cases, an orthodontist of St. Louis may recommend early extraction of a primary tooth or maintaining the space that was created when a tooth fell out prematurely. In any event, these practices could prevent more serious problems in the future.

Problems that may arise

Some children may develop problems early on or an orthodontist may identify them at first examination. These problems could include but are not restricted to:

  • Alignment
  • Crossbite
  • Deepbite or openbite
  • Front teeth protruding (overbite or “buck teeth”)
  • Overcrowding or spacing
  • Underbite

Recommended screenings by age 7 could reveal the potential for these problems to arise. By detecting any of these problems early on, they can be corrected easier than if you wait to have your child examined at a later age. Keep in mind that some of you may be able to wait until your child has all of their permanent teeth.

However, by treating them earlier on, the final results may be achieved better and faster as well as seeing your children enjoy their smile an additional 3 or 4 years when their self-confidence and self-esteem is developing. So if you have a child that has reached 7 years of age or older, you might want to consider making an appointment with an orthodontist fairly soon. Some things are best when caught early on and preventive or remedial measures are taken.

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