When should your child see an orthodontist?

Guest post by Dr. Ched Smaha


Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist by the time they are 7 years old? Yes, that means that your child should have an orthodontic exam while they still have some of their baby teeth.

While children should also have routine dental check-ups with a dentist, an orthodontist has advanced education and training to evaluate and treat problems with the alignment of your child’s teeth.

Although seven may seem like too early of an age for an orthodontic evaluation, it’s important to note that an examination does not always result in orthodontic work. Whether treatment is needed is determined on an individual basis. Among important factors in the decision to recommend orthodontic intervention for children is the direction their teeth are growing.

So, why so early? The transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth is extremely important. During this stage of jaw development, the emerging adult teeth work in harmony with the baby teeth and changes in the bite begin to emerge. Often, these changes are easy to miss with an untrained eye and problems may go undetected, especially if the teeth appear to be straight.

Children have growing bones that are easier to change and guide into proper alignment. Early detection can prevent further problems and even save your child from having more extensive orthodontic work down the road.

The following are just some of the problems orthodontists look for during an oral examination: underbite; crossbite; overbite; open bite; and tooth crowding.

Keep in mind that orthodontists are also trained to look for signs of alignment and bite problems that can develop in the future. Taking a proactive approach to your child’s smile will not only will save money and time, but it will set your child up for a lifetime of optimal oral health.

Dr. Ched Smaha works at Smaha Orthodontics, a family-owned business. Dr. Charles Smaha started Smaha Orthodontics in Macon in 1972. Dr. Ched Smaha joined the practice in 2005. Together, they carry over 50 years of combined experience, creating not only a comfortable, but also extremely knowledgeable environment. Firmly rooted in Macon, their orthodontic practice has four locations in central Georgia to provide a location convenient to all Middle Georgians. If you or a family member are searching for orthodontic care, please call (478) 743-9331 to schedule your complimentary consultation. We would love to welcome you in to the Smaha Orthodontic Family.

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