Go to the orthodontist? From the age of 6

The question about when must I take my son for the first time to the orthodontist often crosses parents’ mind.

As the first permanent teeth usually appear about six years old, this is the right moment to take our children to the orthodontist, not to start treatment, but only for an initial assessment.

Before that, the only suitable treatment for children with baby teeth would be undertaking interceptive or preventive treatment. Thus, the purpose is eliminating children’s habits ending in deformity, such as the prolonged use of the dummy, breathing trough the mouth, anomalous positions of the tongue or fingers sucking.

Since the first permanent tooth appears, there are further suggestions for the interceptive treatment:

-Space maintainers or selective extractions of baby teeth so that permanent teeth come in straight, and improve the size and position of maxillary bones, generally when the permanent teeth replace the milk teeth (from 7 to 11 years old).

-In case of a premature loss of a milk tooth and to hold the space open for the permanent tooth, it is advisable to place a space maintainer.

-Correction of narrow maxillary or sagittal maxillary-mandibular size discrepancy which involves a functional change and have got a real advantage to the later treatment.

In general, the treatments must be short-term, and the appliances must be simple and easy to clean. The instructions must be clear, and the advantage about the treatment of all problems of the new dentition (about 12 years) must be clearly defined.