Many parents make the mistake of waiting until their child has lost all of his or her baby teeth before seeking orthodontic treatment. They may believe that a full mouth of permanent teeth is necessary for kids with braces. However, the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend that you schedule your child's first orthodontic appointment before the age of seven, so that specialists can detect and treat alignment problems earlier.
Some children receive their permanent teeth much later than average, and in rare cases, not at all. According to Dr. David Hamilton, former president of the AAO, early intervention is ideal because children's bones are still malleable, and the jaw can be expanded to make more room for adult teeth.
"I've treated hundreds of children with lots of success," Dr. Hamilton told The New York Times. "You can create minor miracles."
If you wait until children are in their teens or older before starting treatment, the growth advantage is lost.
Another benefit of having your child start orthodontic treatment early is that he or she is more likely to cooperate and follow an orthodontist's instructions. In addition, younger children may be less self-conscious about their looks than an adolescent.
When you take your child to a New York City orthodontist, don't be surprised if you are told that it is too early for treatment or that it is not necessary at all. Each child is different and has a unique set of needs. If Dr. Tanya Vaysman does recommend braces for your child when he or she is a bit older, she will save his or her information in Upper Eastside Orthodontists' recall system. This free service is used to help monitor your son or daughter's dental development, making it easier to treat any problems in the future.