Parents are usually aware and can spot when their kids need braces (e.g. crowding or crooked teeth, early loss or missing teeth, teeth that meet abnormally, jaws that don’t line up properly).
Some children may benefit from orthodontic treatment as young as age 5 or 6 and others can wait until all the baby teeth have fallen out and the permanent teeth are in place (ages 10-13). The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a first evaluation visit to the orthodontist at age 7, when the first permanent tooth has erupted.
There is no set time to start an orthodontic treatment, it varies from child to child. Some problems are best treated as early as possible even when there are still baby teeth present in the mouth. However, sometimes it is best to wait until most of the baby teeth have fallen out. Orthodontic treatment most commonly begins between ages 8 and 14. Your pediatric dentist will help you determine the best time for an evaluation and possible orthodontic treatment.
The Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist working together is the best team for your child’s healthy and beautiful smile, don’t forget to ask them next time your child has an appointment!
Flavia Lamberghini is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UIC Pediatric Dentist Postgraduate Program who also directs Apple Dental Care, a state-of-the-art pediatric dental clinic located in the Logan-Square area. Dr. Lamberghini holds a Master in Public Health and a Master in Oral Sciences which she obtained at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr Flavia, besides her clinical work and teaching, together with her team also provides preventative dental care to students of more than 30 CPS schools across the city. Flavia is married to Fernando Testai MD PhD, an Associate Professor of Neurology at UIC. Together they have two children, Sofia and Martin who they adore.