Early Treatment

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The Best Time to Begin Treatment

A smile can be enhanced at any age, but for your child, there is an optimal time to begin treatment.

Early Orthodontic Evaluation

Dr. Ingraham follows The American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation that every child should have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7 or at the first sign of orthodontic problems. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but Dr. Ingraham will monitor your child's dental growth and development to determine the best time to begin treatment.

The Optimal Age of 7

The reason age 7 is considered the best time for a child’s first orthodontic examination is that the first adult molars have erupted, establishing the back bite. This is the ideal time for Dr. Ingraham to evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships.

The Advantage of Early Treatment

The advantages of early treatment include:

  • Influencing jaw growth in a positive manner
  • Balancing the width of the dental arches
  • Improving eruption patterns
  • Creating space for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preventing unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear
  • Preserving space for un-erupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth extraction
  • Reducing treatment time in braces
  • Making teeth easier to keep clean, which will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease
  • Correcting harmful oral habits, such as tongue-thrusting habits
  • Improving speech impediments
  • Simplifying and/or shortening later treatment time

Incredible Kids’ Club – Our Pre-Orthodontic Guidance Program

Because we believe in the importance of all children having an orthodontic screening by age 7 (or earlier if problems are present), we provide these pre-orthodontic growth guidance visits with Dr. Ingraham at no charge. During this period of observation, your child will become a member of the Incredible Kids Club.

Click here for more information about our Incredible Kids’ Club.