We often have parents ask us “what age should I bring my child in to be seen by the orthodontist – they’re only 8, is that too young?”. Quite the contrary – around 8 years old is the ideal age to first see us. By that age, some of the permanent/adult teeth are beginning to erupt and it is possible to identify unfavourable growth patterns (e.g. crossbites, deep bites etc.), address bad habits (e.g. thumb sucking) or assist front teeth in erupting correctly. Moreover, it provides a good reference point to allow the orthodontist to monitor growth and dental development over time.
Often your orthodontist may be able to simply review your child on a regular basis, with the view to treat them when all of their permanent teeth are through. Conversely, early intervention is sometimes required to correct dental problems. Early treatment may not necessarily prevent the need for comprehensive treatment in the future, however, it may simplify later treatment or decrease the length of time spent in care. Additionally, it may help to avoid premature damage or wear to teeth that have erupted unfavourably.
Written by Campbell Watson.