Why age 7 for your child’s first orthodontic exam? | Graf Orthodontics
Braces at age 7

Why should children have their first orthodontist visit at age 7?

Receiving an orthodontic evaluation at the age of 7 may sound too young to some parents. After all, can a 7 year old get braces? Have all of their permanent teeth even erupted at this age? Let’s dive in!

Why schedule your child’s screening at age 7

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive their first orthodontic exam by the age of 7 to screen for potential orthodontic problems, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll start orthodontic treatment at age 7 – or at all. 

Every child is different, with different needs and a unique smile growth rate! The purpose of an orthodontic evaluation with Graf Orthodontics is simply to determine if your child needs orthodontic treatment or would benefit from treatment. 

Can a 7 year old get braces or clear aligners?

Yes, in some cases, a 7 year old can get braces or another orthodontic treatment. Does that mean that your child will need braces at age 7? Not necessarily! It depends on what particular problems are detected during his or her evaluation. 

Every child develops at a different rate. Typically, the front teeth on the top and bottom dental arch are the first to be lost, which means your child will soon have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth. 

Early orthodontic treatment is designed to work with this mixed dentition (baby teeth and permanent teeth), holding the necessary space for permanent teeth to grow without overlapping or crowding each other. So for some children, braces at age 7 or 8 can be highly beneficial! 

Why would braces at age 7 or 8 be necessary?

We won’t know if braces are necessary for your child until they receive a braces evaluation (orthodontic exam) from one of our experienced orthodontists, Dr. Graf, Dr. Cloud or Dr. Digney.

Our orthodontists are trained to detect problematic orthodontic conditions before they progress and require a more intensive treatment or a longer treatment process.

Some developmental issues and dental misalignments become apparent around age 7, and it’s important that these conditions don’t go undetected and/or untreated. When untreated conditions progress, these can lead to:

  • Chewing difficulties
  • Speech impediments
  • Jaw pain or tooth pain
  • Poor self-esteem

As the permanent teeth are growing in around age 7, we’re able to identify problematic conditions and create a personalized treatment plan to help guide your child’s teeth and jaw bones into a healthy, beautiful alignment with the greatest efficiency.

How early orthodontic treatment works

Braces for 7 year olds” doesn’t have to mean ‘braces’. Orthodontic appliances are often used in the younger years to create sufficient room in the mouth for all permanent teeth to erupt in alignment.

Palatal expanders

Palatal expanders are one of the most common orthodontic appliances used for children. These appliances are designed to widen a narrow palate (upper jaw bone) to prevent teeth from growing in crowded or misaligned, and to correct the bite.

A number of orthodontic problems are caused by narrow jaw bones, and when the jaw bones have stabilized in the adult years, widening them or expanding them may require jaw surgery

Say “yes” to early treatment!

Early orthodontic treatment serves to prevent intensive treatments like jaw surgery from becoming necessary, as braces can work alongside the natural development of the jaw bones. The teeth and jaw bones then grow in the desired alignment, instead of treating them after they’ve grown into misalignment. 

This efficient, interceptive approach can result in a shortened treatment length and a more comfortable experience for your child.

Schedule your child’s first exam today!

Scheduling an orthodontic exam for your child around the age of 7 allows us to intercept any problematic conditions, if necessary. Early treatment can save your child from developmental issues and discomfort caused by their condition, and it can save you money in the long run.

Remember, receiving an orthodontic evaluation doesn’t mean that your child will begin treatment! It’s simply a precautionary measure to ensure that there aren’t any problematic conditions lurking and progressing into more complex problems.

Our highly-experienced doctors and team are known for having children’s best interest in mind! We’re not focused on “sales”, we’re focused on providing you with high-quality solutions that enable you to live your greatest quality of life. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. If you’re looking for a top children’s orthodontist in Bossier City, Many, Natchitoches, Alexandria, Minden or Shreveport, we would love to meet you. 

Request a complimentary exam for your child today!

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