What is the Best Age for A Child’s First Orthodontic Assessment?
As an orthodontist, we are not so much concerned about the age of our patients but rather reviewing and determining their teeth’s developmental stage.
Primary (Baby) and Permanent Teeth
The development stage of the teeth is an important indicator as to what treatment plans would best suit the young patient. To begin, we will establish if the patient still has any of their baby teeth, or that all of their permanent teeth have appeared.
Orthodontists use the term “tooth eruption” to signal that a tooth has entered the mouth and it is now visible. Generally, humans have typically 20 baby teeth and 32 permanent teeth.
Permanent Teeth Appear In Children Between 6 Years to 12 Years
Unless there is an obvious problem, we would not expect to assess a child’s orthodontic needs until they are around eight years of age.
Interception is the Goal of Early Orthodontic Treatments
Prior to the teenage years, and well before all adult teeth have erupted – usually around eighteen years of age, bite discrepancies can be treated without the need for full braces.
They key is not acting too early or too late in determining the most appropriate course of orthodontic action. In certain circumstances it may require a two-stage treatment plan – an initial stage to correct the bite problem and a later stage to correct the crowing of the permanent teeth.
Our preference is to do it right the first time. Your family dentist or school dentist will be able to provide you with guidance as to when to be referred to an Orthodontist.
A Parental Guide for a Child’s Orthodontic Assessment
As a parent, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a family history of orthodontics?
- Do you notice your child’s teeth are crowding?
- Is there an overbite, cross-bite or under-bite?
- Are there unusual spaces between their teeth?
- Do you notice your child is in any pain around the jaw or gums?
- Is your child self conscious about their smile?
At Tony Weir Orthodontics, we have the experience and the knowledge to help you and your child navigate the options that best suit your particular situation. We have two locations at Greenslopes and Carinda in south Brisbane.
You can schedule an appointment today to discuss your concerns or to ask additional questions. We are here to help.