You can ask this question to 10 different Dentists and Orthodontists and expect 10 different answers. Some will say age 6, some age 7, some say wait till all the permanent teeth come in, and all answers in between. To me, the simplest answer is, as soon as you notice a problem.
If you notice your child has crowded baby teeth, this will not likely improve by itself and early treatment may be advised. If you notice that your child has a “funny bite” where the lower jaw is ahead of the upper jaw (like Jay Leno), or it seems their upper jaw is way ahead of the lower jaw, your child should be assessed.
The nice thing about early treatment is that we can help guide the bone to proper growth and development to help make room for the teeth. As a result, the teeth have a better chance of coming in straight, and the child may not need braces, or because there is more space, the time in Braces is shorter.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of early treatment is that by properly developing the jaw bones, we can often improve your ability to breathe. If you think about it, if your mouth is small, that means the roof of your mouth is small, which means the floor of the nose is small… which means the two areas you receive air through are constricted. If we help develop your jaw bones, we can often improve your ability to breathe through mouth and nose! In fact research has shown that for every one millimeter of upper jaw development, there is a 10% improvement in your ability to breathe. It is also all done NON-surgically! This is great news for kids as if they are treated early enough, we can improve their breathing during the years they are growing, and speaking as a parent, I think this is HUGE!
The nice thing about crooked teeth is that it can be treated at any age but there are definitely advantages to having potential crowding problems addressed early.
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