For many people, it can be difficult to determine exactly when they or their children should visit an orthodontist, so we’ve outlined a few of the most important things to consider to help you better understand when to proceed with orthodontic treatment.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that everyone is different. So, no matter what answers you discover here, if you find yourself hesitating to smile with your teeth showing or hiding them behind your hand, please don’t wait to visit an orthodontist to discuss your options for straighter teeth that will empower you to expose a brilliantly confident smile. 

When Should You Begin to See a Dentist? 

You may be surprised to read that medical and dental professionals, across North America, recommend that children visit the dentist before they turn 1 – or within 6 months of their first primary tooth breaking through. This may seem early – and many parents are equally confounded – but it is essential to ensure your children’s teeth remain healthy and where they’re supposed to be, until they are naturally displaced.  

 What Age Should a Child See an Orthodontist? 

While most children complete their dental growth by 12, it is at age 7 when their molars have already broken through, so orthodontic specialists recommend your little ones plan their first consultation between the ages of 6 and 7, and no later than their eighth birthday.

Again, this number may surprise you, and that is because most people assume orthodontists are only concerned with straightening teeth, which is a challenge that may not be fully realized until a child reaches adolescence. However, that is simply not the case.  

Signs That Your Child Should See an Orthodontist 

Signs that a child should see an orthodontist include persistent thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, early or late loss of baby teeth or difficulty chewing. If you notice these signs, schedule an appointment with a professional orthodontist. The screening may or may not result in immediate treatment. In fact, orthodontic treatment may not start until 8 to 14 years of age.  

Orthodontists are also concerned with ensuring your child’s jaw is correctly aligned, so they are well-positioned to reduce the potential trauma of an under or over-bite. This can prevent children from grinding their teeth, mitigate jaw tension and lessen the negative effects of overcrowding and impacted teeth. 

When Should an Adult See an Orthodontist? 

No matter how old you are, you deserve to feel great when you smile, so it’s never too late to discuss your treatment opportunities to achieve teeth you’ll want to show off. Additionally, orthodontic treatment can be an effective remedy for jaw alignment issues, regardless of the age of the patient.  

While adults may be hesitant about beginning their orthodontic journey later in life, there are so many options for addressing your dental concerns that it’s worthwhile to explore them with an orthodontic professional. That way, you can be better informed about how to achieve the smile you want, in a way you’re most comfortable with. 

Do You Need a Referral from Your Dentist to See an Orthodontist?

No: you are empowered to make this choice yourself and to look for an orthodontic professional who aligns with your vision for the type of treatment and TLC you hope to receive. However, that doesn’t mean we do not highly encourage you to regularly visit your dentist for proper oral care.  

Booking annual dental appointments for your family is an essential component of maintaining the health of your mouth. Plus, your dentist can be a powerful advocate and partner throughout your orthodontic journey to ensure your teeth are as healthy as they will be beautifully straight.

Regardless of Age, If You Are Looking for a Caring Orthodontic Team, Contact Foley Wilde Orthodontics. 

Whether the consultation is for you or your child, the orthodontic specialists at Foley Wilde Orthodontics will give you an honest and expert opinion about the options available for achieving your orthodontic goals.  

If you’re wondering whether you or your loved one has their best-possible smile, book a consultation with us today and we will help you take the first, and most strategic step towards confidence