When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

Watching our children grow up can be tough – making important life decisions on their behalf can be even tougher. As a mom herself, Dr. Sohn understands the challenges of approaching your child’s important growth milestones, but you shouldn’t let orthodontics be a cause for concern! The best way to avoid milestone apprehensions is to ask questions and arm yourself with answers. 

One of our most-asked questions comes from parents of young children who want to know: “What age should my child see an orthodontist?” The short answer is age seven. The long answer requires a little further digging. 

Why Your Child Should Meet Dr. Sohn at Age Seven

When it comes to those fast-approaching age milestones, preparation and early intervention go hand-in-hand. As a parent, you need to know when your child should see an orthodontist, why they should do so, and what you should know before your first consultation. 

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you introduce your child to their orthodontist by age seven for many reasons ranging from reducing fear around orthodontic visits to preventing treatable conditions early on. 

Early Exposure

Younger children are like sponges, soaking up and absorbing the information around them without hesitation. The older children get, the more likely they are to become afraid of new experiences and the less open they may be to orthodontic treatment. 

Clearing early childhood milestones is complicated enough; you don’t want to throw fear into the orthodontic treatment mix if you can help it. Introducing your second or third grader to the team at Sohn Orthodontics allows your child to become used to the office environment, our friendly staff, and the orthodontic process. When patients visit our office at age seven, their natural curiosity makes them excited to start their journey with braces. Older patients can be more hesitant. 

Preventative Care

Everyone has heard that age-old medical wisdom that says “catching things early” gives an individual the edge against many issues that come their way. Likewise, the best way to prevent developing orthodontic problems from becoming worse is to bring your child in for their first orthodontic appointment at age seven. 

At seven years old, a child’s jaw is still developing. By detecting subtle changes in jaw structure over time, Dr. Sohn can help to redirect improper jaw growth and track developmental changes from the beginning of your child’s treatment. These early screenings can reduce or even eliminate the need for severe treatment later in their lives and improve the appearance of their teeth overall. 

Additionally, only an orthodontist can detect multiple specific dental issues at an early age. Having an orthodontist track your child’s teeth before they’ve lost all of their baby teeth can stop future conditions from developing further. 

Cheaper Treatment Overall

Braces can be expensive — that is no surprise to most parents. Even with the financial plans available at Sohn Orthodontics, you likely want to reduce the cost of braces as much as possible. The best way to do so? You got it: early orthodontic treatment starting at age seven. 

Once your child’s teeth are permanent, treatment can be more complex and costly. Caught too late, more serious orthodontic issues may even require surgery to fix. Because early screenings allow Dr. Sohn to track the growth of your child’s teeth, preventative treatment alternatives may ultimately save you money and energy in the long run. 

When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

Better Results

By removing your child’s fear of the orthodontist and treating preventable issues early on in their life, it makes perfect sense that the results are often better and longer-lasting, all at a lower price. 

Meeting with Dr. Sohn when your child is seven creates a domino effect of benefits. By starting treatment early, your child’s smile will be straighter, more durable, and longer-lasting than patients who begin treatment later in life. You’ll know exactly what issues may arise as your child grows older and how to prevent them, and you’ll know when to start orthodontic treatment for the most ideal outcome. 

Remember: You Can Consult an Orthodontist at Any Age

Although the benchmark for a first visit is seven years old, it is essential to keep in mind that you should make an appointment for your child any time you notice something out of the ordinary. If your child’s teeth appear to be excessively crowded, if they are having difficulty or experiencing pain with chewing, or if they are breathing through their mouth more often than not, it is a good idea to bring them in for a visit with Dr. Sohn no matter their age. 

Does a Dental Appointment Count? 

If the first question parents ask Dr. Sohn is “When should my child see an orthodontist?” this question is almost always the follow-up. Taking your child to the dentist is a must, and you may be wondering if they can track your child’s orthodontic development the same way an orthodontist can. In other words, do you really need both doctors? 

A dental appointment does not work the same way as an orthodontic appointment. While orthodontists are always dentists, dentists are not always orthodontists, and the extra training that separates the two makes a huge difference. Orthodontists are trained for an additional 2-3 years in facial bone structure and development, making them the qualified professionals for tracking your child’s development. 

Take your child to the dentist for cleanings and learning healthy oral habits; take your child to an orthodontist for jaw structure and alignment. 

When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

Sohn Smiles Are Happy Smiles

When it comes to your children’s health, Dr. Sohn knows how important it is to find the right team to support them. That’s why she treats all of her patients with the same level of care she would treat her own children — and that’s the treatment you can trust. 

If you’ve got a child who is approaching this critical developmental milestone, schedule your free consultation with our office today.