It is best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to determine if orthodontic treatment will be required, and most importantly, the appropriate time to begin treatment. Although for most patients, treatment will occur during the pubertal growth spurt, many patients can benefit from early treatment. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, and reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment. Dr Cottingham will assist you in determining when to start treatment, and when to wait.
What if I put off treatment?
If treatment does not begin until the mid to late teenage years, many times an ideal result cannot be achieved without more invasive treatment such as jaw surgery or extraction of permanent teeth.