Orthodontics in children: from what age?

Detecting an incorrect bite, jaw problems, lack of space and crooked teeth in infancy allows for simple treatment, avoiding tooth extractions.

Just as many mothers do not know the right age to take their children to the dentist for the first time, there is also confusion as to the ideal time to go to the orthodontist. Waiting until adolescence is not recommended.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises to make a first consultation no later than 7 years of age to check for any problems or alterations in the teeth and jaw, explore the first dentition, at what age the teeth began to molt, how the permanent teeth are and how the bite is. This allows us to determine if the space in the mouth is adequate, as this depends on the type of treatment to follow or what orthodontic procedure to start with.

From a young age, as children grow and develop, they show early signs of jaw problems. An overgrown upper jaw or a narrow jaw can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. In addition, if they have crowded and/or crooked front teeth at age eight, early treatment is critical because it can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later.

As a specialist I advise not to wait until the child molts all the teeth, as it may be too late. When we perform interceptive or phase 1 orthodontics (at an early age) while the child is growing, we help the jaw to develop properly so that it adapts to the teeth and improves the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. It also improves tooth eruption by increasing the space, corrects bad habits, prevents wear on the teeth, etc.

Each treatment will depend on the age and type of alteration to be corrected.