Here at Dr. Ritucci's orthodontic offices in Plymouth and Sandwich, MA, we agree with the American Association of Orthodontists' recommendation to bring your child to their first orthodontic visit at around seven years old. At the age of seven, most kids have lost four to eight baby teeth and eight to 12 adult teeth have come into the mouth. Because the molars and incisors start coming in at around this age, we can start to see potential problems areas that might benefit from early orthodontic treatment.
While some baby teeth are still present at age seven, Dr. Ritucci can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth at this time. While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. In many cases, a checkup at this age may reveal that your child's bite is fine. Dr. Ritucci may also identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring your child's growth and development for a while, allowing him to determine the most optimal time to begin your child's treatment.
What can early interceptive care prevent?
Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing down the road while also shortening future treatment times and thus reducing the cost. In some cases, through early treatment, Dr. Ritucci will be able to achieve results that may not have been possible with an older patient when the face and jaws have finished growing.
Some of the many benefits of early orthodontic treatment are:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of the teeth, lips and face
If your child is older than seven, it is certainly not too late to bring him or her in for an orthodontic evaluation. Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, Dr. Ritucci will recommend the optimal treatment at the most appropriate time for your child.
When you bring your child in for an orthodontic exam, you are setting him or her up for a future of better oral health and fewer dental problems. The earlier you bring your child in, the sooner Dr. Ritucci can determine the best treatment plan for his or her individual needs. We treat children from Plymouth, Sandwich, Manomet, Bourne, Kingston, Carver, West Barnstable, Mashpee, and Duxbury, MA and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your child's first appointment!