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Seventh Birthday Approaching? Time For a Visit to the Orthodontist!

Many parents associate braces and orthodontics with their teen years but you may be surprised to learn that the best time for your little one to have their first orthodontic visit is around their 7th birthday. We know, we know – they’re still running around the jungle gym and definitely not exhibiting any tween behavior (at least we hope not for your sake!). That said, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends children be seen by an orthodontist at age seven and we at Sellke & Reily Orthodontics absolutely

agree.

Why by age seven?

By age 7, your child’s mouth has matured enough for a trained orthodontic eye to spot current and future issues. We can then choose when to best make corrections that will help guide their jaw and teeth into a healthier place for an easier beautiful smile later on.

There are many benefits to starting orthodontic treatment as a child; these include shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth, airway development for improved health and far fewer permanent tooth extractions. That’s because with early orthodontics we can:

  • Guide teeth into desired positions early
  • Guide jaw growth
  • Minimize crowding/creating room for erupting teeth
  • Correct the results of oral habits like thumb and finger sucking

At Sellke & Reily Orthodontics, we think of early orthodontics as a two phase solution.

  • Phase 1 works with your young child to make space for his or her permanent teeth and/or create harmonious jaw growth.
  • Phase 2 begins once all permanent teeth have erupted.

If you recommend early orthodontics for my child, does that mean they won’t need braces as a teen?

Early treatment (phase 1) can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent additional problems from developing, and simplify future treatment, but oftentimes, additional treatment is still necessary. That said, children who have undergone early orthodontic treatment always wear braces or Invisalign for a far shorter period of time in the teen years than those who have not undergone early intervention. This makes life easier for both them, and you, as both of your schedules get busier and busier.

If I bring my child to you at age 7 are you definitely going to recommend early orthodontics?

Nope! Every child is different and we customize every treatment plan to the individual. Early treatment does not benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all permanent teeth have come in; some skeletal orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or complete. Only 1/3 of children seen at a young age require early intervention.

In order to create a custom treatment plan for your child, we need to see you! Dr. Sellke and Dr. Reily are leading orthodontists in the field and are helping to pioneer this amazing technology including lecturing internationally and teaching at the University of Illinois Department of Orthodontics. Click below to schedule a complimentary consultation with us. We can’t wait to meet you and your seven to ten year old!