Although a smile can be enhanced at any age, there is a best time to begin treatment. The recommended age for an initial orthodontic evaluation to occur is 7, the reason being that typically this is when the first adult molars erupt, establishing a back bite. At this time, the orthodontist can evaluate side to side and front to back relationships. Treatment may not be recommended right away, but the examination can anticipate the best time to begin treatment.
Advantages of early treatment
There are many benefits to starting treatment early. Some of the more common advantages are creating room for crowded, erupting teeth; influencing jaw growth to produce facial symmetry; preserving space for unerupted teeth; reducing the need for tooth removal; reducing the risk of trauma due to protruding front teeth; and reducing the treatment time with braces.
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Most people think that orthodontics is mainly for aesthetic purposes but orthodontic treatment also improves malocclusions (bad bites). Malocclusions occur as a result of misalignment of the teeth or jaws. These bad bites affect how you feel about your smile, the way you smile, the way you clean your teeth, and the way you chew.
Why should your malocclusion be treated?
A variety of problems can occur if you leave malocclusions untreated. Because crowded teeth are harder to clean, they can often contribute to tooth decay and/or periodontal (gum) disease. Crossbites can result in uneven tooth wear as well as unfavourable asymmetric growth. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to chipping, while open bites can contribute to speech impediments and tongue thrusting.