First Orthodontic Visit

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Sherman Balhoff Photo BBy Steve Sherman, D.D.S., M.S.,
& Dr. David Balhoff, D.D.S.,
Sherman & Balhoff Orthodontics

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have their first visit with a certified orthodontist by the age of seven. It may seem young, but it’s actually the perfect time to begin monitoring their jaw growth, and the pattern of their baby teeth and permanent teeth. 
A trained orthodontist can spot subtle issues with the way your child’s jaw is growing, or the way permanent teeth are erupting, even while there are still baby teeth in the mouth. By the age of seven, we can tell if your child has an issue with crowding and spacing that interceptive treatment will be able to correct. 
At this young age, your children’s mouths are developing at a much faster rate than they will in the future. That means any problems evident now could actually worsen over time, but it also means that early treatment can be even more effective. By catching these developmental problems on time, we can shorten treatment time, and in some cases, even eliminate the need for full braces in the future. Once your child’s jaw has stopped growing, it becomes more difficult to correct some orthodontic issues, so beginning checkups with an orthodontist early allows us to begin treatment at the time when it will have the most impact. 
Early treatment allows us to guide jaw growth, lower the risk of trauma associated with front teeth that protrude, correct harmful oral habits, improve the appearance of the smile, guide the permanent teeth to their ideal locations, and improve the way the lips meet. Beginning a relationship with an orthodontist by the age of seven gives your child the best opportunity for a healthy and healthy smile.