All children should get an Orthodontic check-up by age 7. This is the time when all 4 of your child's first molars (6 year molars), and all 4 top and bottom incisors (front four teeth) should be in. The orthodontist will check to make sure your child's teeth are on track with their eruption, and that no teeth are missing, impacted, or delayed in eruption.
The Orthodontist will check to make sure the necessary space for future tooth eruption is present; if any baby teeth have fallen out or were removed prematurely, the doctor may recommend a space maintainer, as needed, to hold the space open for future tooth eruption. Otherwise, neighboring teeth may tip into that space, causing impaction of permanent teeth.
In most cases, mild to moderate crowding is better treated in the adolescent phase, when patients are ready for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. However, in cases of severe crowding, where teeth may become impacted or erupt in the wrong position, early/interceptive treatment may be warranted.
The orthodontist will also check for any habits your child may have, which may affect tooth eruption or jaw growth. This includes habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing. The doctor will discuss possible options on how to address these habits before they cause any long term effects on your child's teeth.
Jaw growth and position is part of any orthodontic evaluation. The doctor will evaluate your child's jaw growth to ensure it is in line and harmonious with your child's facial features.