Q. I have been told by my general dentist that my child should be evaluated by an orthodontist around age 7 or 8. Is this really necessary at such a young age?
A. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic screening for children by the age of 7. Although this may seem young, the purpose of the screening is to detect any problems in dental and jaw development that may lead to more serious issues down the road. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but a thorough examination can aid in anticipating the most advantageous time to begin treatment if needed. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention can help guide growth and development, thereby preventing more serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, your orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment at a time when it is most beneficial.
Daniel Sawrie, D.D.S., M.S.
4727 Brainerd Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37411