Children should have an orthodontic evaluation by age 8, or sooner if there is a concern. It is important to remember that most children do not, and should not, start orthodontic treatment at this age, but receive great benefit from having their facial growth and dental development monitored by Dr. Lawrence.
When it comes to your child’s health, they deserve the care of an orthodontist.
All children should have an evaluation by age 12, regardless of dental development. There is misguided advice left over from the 1950’s that all the baby teeth should be lost prior to seeing the orthodontist. This 60 year-old advice is WRONG!! Sooner evaluation is always better so the start of orthodontic treatment can be individualized for each patient. You can never get an orthodontic consultation too early, but you can present too late to allow us to take advantage of growth-oriented results.
If your teen was not evaluated by age 12, do not despair! We can still help your teen and achieve an excellent result.
Even if you did not have the opportunity to receive orthodontic care as a child, it is never too late to have a beautiful smile and a healthier mouth. Proper tooth alignment and fit (dental occlusion) is the basis of the health of the entire oral system. This includes the jaw joints, facial muscles, gums, bones, and the teeth.
Many adults may be unaware that an existing bite problem is leading to excessive tooth wear, or failure of their dental work. When teeth don’t meet properly, it creates damaging pressure on them. Dental problems will worsen if the underlying orthodontic problems are not corrected. Family dentists will often refer an adult patient to us before they start correcting tooth wear or replacing worn dental work. If your dentist has not mentioned that your occlusion may be causing problems, you can make an appointment with us for an evaluation without a referral.
Warning Signs: It is Time for an Orthodontic Exam
- Difficulty in chewing or breathing.
- Mouth Breathing.
- Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth.
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude.
- Speech difficulty.
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth.
- Protruding teeth.
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all.
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry.
- Grinding or clenching of teeth.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth.
- Finger sucking or other oral habits.