As an orthodontist, who happens to also be a dad of school-age kids, I spend a lot of time talking with fellow parents about teeth! It’s not at all strange to find me sitting in the bleachers at a softball or basketball game looking into a child’s mouth or talking to our neighbors about proper alignment at a barbeque. One of the questions I’m asked most often is:
“How do I know when it’s time for my child to see an orthodontist?”
While it varies in every situation, the official answer is that I, along with the the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), recommend every child gets an initial evaluation at seven years old. During this age, the first permanent teeth are erupting, negative growth patterns such as underbites and crossbites can be identified, and major orthodontic problems can be prevented.
You might be thinking that seven seems young for braces, and most often, you’d be right! Our patients who come in for an appointment at this age rarely leave with braces. This complimentary evaluation is meant to identify growth issues and prevent more severe orthodontic complications from developing. Some examples of necessary treatment possible at this time would be for correcting thumbsucking, severe protrusion or a narrow palette. For the most part though, this visit is an introduction into our observation program, aptly named The 7-and-Up Kids Club!
In this program, we begin with that important appointment that evaluates your child’s dental development and health. Each subsequent visit down the road fills in the gaps a little more so that by the time your child has lost all those baby teeth and is ready for treatment, I have a very clear picture of the treatment plan that will produce the best results, which is of course, a beautiful smile. For more information, check out the full video below.
And like anything we do at Scenic City Orthodontics, we like to have a lot of fun along the way! That’s why our 7-and-Up Kids Club members get the VIP treatment every time they visit…from snapping selfies in the photo booth, filling up a goody cup, and collecting special 7-and-Up Kids Club pins to adorn his or her very own SCO lanyard, coming to our office will be the highlight of your child’s day!
So while I’m happy to take a look at your child’s mouth when we see each other out and about around Chattanooga, there is no better time and place to get started on that beautiful smile than scheduling your complimentary smile analysis at Scenic City Orthodontics today!