1. Get your 7-year-old into an AAO orthodontist for his or her first checkup.
Don’t wait for a dentist’s referral. It might not come and orthodontists don’t require one. Dentists may not be evaluating the child’s bite, and by age 7, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate if a problem exists or is developing. Most orthodontists take a panoramic x-ray and photos to evaluate any concerns or potential problems with permanent teeth getting ready to break through the surface – such as extra teeth, missing teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.
One of three things could result from the first appointment. 1) No treatment is expected to be necessary. 2) Treatment may be needed in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to grow. 3) There is a problem that lends itself to early treatment, and you are in the right spot to get it started!
2. Retainers – if you have one, wear it.
Set a good example for your children and make retainers part of your oral hygiene routine. Whether you’re 10, 30 or 50, it’s important to continue wearing your retainer after treatment. You brush your teeth for a lifetime, and you should wear your retainer a lifetime. Changes to the position of your teeth occur naturally throughout your life, so help make sure teeth stay put after treatment.
If your retainer no longer fits, your teeth have likely shifted, which brings us to point three.
3. Get a closer look. Consult an AAO orthodontist near you.
Many AAO orthodontists offer free or low-cost initial consultations. Whether you’ve never had orthodontic treatment, or you think you need a touch up on what’s been done, stop in and see how an orthodontist can improve your smile.
What are you waiting for? Find an orthodontist near you today.
Trust an AAO orthodontist.
You can work with an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Find an orthodontist near you at aaoinfo.org/locator.