Why See Ortho by Age 7?

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

“I’m grateful to have met Dr. Moricz, she was able to recommend conservative treatment for my children and keeping them at ease.”
– Jennifer Lewis, Sarasota, Florida

DR. MORICZ JOINS AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ORTHODONTISTS IN RECOMMENDING THE FIRST CHECK-UP WITH AN ORTHODONTIST NO LATER THAN AGE 7

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:

  • early or late loss of baby teeth
  • difficulty in chewing or biting
  • mouth breathing
  • thumb sucking
  • crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • jaws that shift or make sounds
  • speech difficulties
  • biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
  • teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • facial imbalance
  • jaws that are too far forward or back
  • grinding or clenching of the teeth

Early Exam

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends screening children no later than age 7. Children this age have achieved approximately 80% of facial growth, a first phase of treatment during this time can leverage remaining growth.

Second Phase

By the time they reach age 11 or 12 (when the second phase of treatment is initiated), children have achieved more than 90 percent of their lifetime facial growth.

Active Children

Studies show that almost 1 in five children will experience a dental related injury by the age of 18. A dental mouthguard or the correction of dental or jaw problems at an early age can help reduce this number.