The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Early orthodontic screening can lead to the detection of dental and jaw growth problems that require interceptive treatment. Timely intervention may achieve results that are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Not all orthodontic problems are caused by crooked teeth. Improper jaw development can lead to an unbalanced bite as well as facial disharmony. An underdeveloped lower jaw produces buck-teeth or an overbite and an overdeveloped lower jaw results in an under bite. Properly timed treatment with special orthodontic appliances can control the growth of the jaws and establish alignment in rapidly growing younger patients. Delaying treatment may result in the need for more invasive procedures to correct the problem.
Scientific research supports the important role of oral and facial esthetics in the psycho-social development of children. Children with crooked teeth or jaw imbalances often feel self-conscious. They are hesitant to talk with friends or teachers. They often cover their mouths when laughing or close their mouths when being photographed. When children feel confident about the way they look, they feel better about themselves-and their whole outlook on life can improve.