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Tel : (718) 661-1186
139 Centre Street. Suite 615, New York, NY 10013
Tel : (212) 625-0088
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Early Treatment

When is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment?

Though an orthodontist can improve a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time can provide the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be needed, but careful evaluation can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment, and avoid problem getting more severe.

Benefits of early orthodontic evaluation

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention can guide growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic treatment is not needed, the orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is necessary at a proper time.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for initial screening? By the age of 7, the first adult permanent molars have erupted, establishing the posterior bite. During this time, the orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side teeth and bite relationship. Problems such as overbite, open bite, cross-bites, crowding or gummy smiles can be detected if present. Problems resulting from habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or lip biting can also be detected and corrected at this early time. Timely screening increases the chance to establish a better smile, and reduces the problem severity and treatment time.