The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child gets an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Of course, the check-up may reveal that you child’s bite is fine, and that can be comforting news.
Some of the common problems that are important to treat at this age (7-10 yrs) are:
- Thumb, digit sucking, or other oral habits
- Assess for mouth breathing
- Tongue position
- Anterior or posterior cross-bites
- Tooth eruption progress
- Crowding management
- Deep bites that are impinging on the upper gum
- Increased Overjet that is affecting speech or increased trauma incidents
- Jaw size disprepancy (small or large upper/lower jaws) by growth modification
Many of those cases if left untreated at this age can lead to bigger problems in the future. They can still be treated at older age, but might need more aggressive treatments like extractions or jaw surgeries.
Also many times the treatment need will depend on the level of psychological maturity of the child and the effect of their tooth alignment on their self-esteem and confidence, which in return affect their relationships, social, and emotional maturity. As well as it will affect their grades and school performance.
In many cases the treatment can be very simple and short, but the new alignment can be enough to boost that child’s confidence by 100%. It is very important to ask you child how s/he feels about the look of their teeth.
Most cases will finish active treatment in 6-12 months, but will usually need to stay under observation until all permanent teeth are erupted.