Although many people associate orthodontic treatment with adolescence, Sarasota-Venice’s orthodontist Claudia Moricz, DDS, MS), says that orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or with the teeth much earlier, while the primary or “baby” teeth are present.
Parents may incorrectly assume they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth. However, Dr. Moricz and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend that every child get check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7.
“I can’t emphasize how important it is that parents understand the value of an orthodontic check- up,” says Dr. Moricz. “By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to evaluate the ‘bite’ – the manner in which top and bottom teeth and jaws meet and work, and how that relationship affects a child’s ability to bite, chew and speak effectively. Orthodontists can determine what, if anything, is awry.
“A visit to the orthodontist can ease a parent’s mind, too,” notes Dr. Moricz. “Our recommendation may simply be ‘let’s wait and see’ while the face and jaws continue to grow.”
Some of the more readily apparent conditions that indicate the need for an examination include: