Dental Tips Blog


When Does My Child Need an Orthodontist Referral?

Posted in Orthodontics

As your child’s baby teeth fall out and their adult teeth begin to erupt, you’ll probably find yourself wondering if they will need braces, when they will need braces, and at what point they need to be evaluated by an orthodontist. The American Academy of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. At this age, most children have a mixed dentition, with some permanent teeth already erupting, but many primary teeth still in place.

By age 12, most children have lost all of their baby teeth. The majority of parents take their children to the orthodontist after this stage to begin any type of orthodontic treatment. However, if evaluations occur at an earlier age, many orthodontic complications have the potential to be avoided. This can make treatment shorter and more affordable for your child.

Your dentist will conduct a bite analysis on your child as their teeth erupt and their jaws continue to develop. There are different classifications of bites, and considerations given to the bite as to whether or not orthodontic treatment is necessary. If your dentist has a concern about your child’s bite, it may be between ages 7-12 when your dentist recommends a professional orthodontic evaluation.

The earlier your child has access to preventive dental care and alignment corrections, the healthier their smile will be as they enter into adulthood. Straighter teeth are easier to care for, helping prevent gum disease as well as tooth decay. Minor corrections made to jaw development and premature tooth loss prevent lengthy orthodontic treatment later on.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental

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