When to see an Orthodontist

There is no one answer to this question because each orthodontic problem determines its own best starting time. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by the parents, family dentist, or physician.

Recognize any of these early warning signs? It might be time to schedule an orthodontic exam.

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger sucking or other oral habits
  • Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don't meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry
  • Grinding or clinching of teeth

© American Association of Orthodontists and Braces.org, 01/17/2012

Problems to Watch for in Children

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