Dr. Steven Siegel Joins the American Association of Orthodontists in Recommending Orthodontic Check-Ups for Children No Later Than Age 7
Although many people associate orthodontic treatment with adolescence, Glen Burnie orthodontist Dr. Steven Siegel says that orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or with the teeth much earlier, while the primary or “baby” teeth are still present.
Parents may incorrectly assume they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth. However, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child get check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7.
“I can’t emphasize how important it is that parents understand the value of an orthodontic check- up,” says Dr. Siegel. “By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to evaluate relationships developing between teeth, jaw and bite. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
A check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the
orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. “A visit to the orthodontist can ease a parent’s mind as well,” notes Dr. Siegel. “Our recommendation may simply be ‘let’s wait and see’ while the face and jaws continue to grow.” If your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late for a check-up.
Some of the more readily apparent conditions that indicate the need for an examination include:
• early or late loss of baby teeth
• difficulty in chewing or biting
• mouth breathing
• thumb sucking
• crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
• jaws that shift or make sounds
• speech difficulties
• biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
• teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
• facial imbalance
• jaws that are too far forward or back
• grinding or clenching of the teeth
Dr. Siegel notes that protrusive teeth can be prone to injury.
For more information, visit Dr. Siegel’s website, www.orthodontistsofmaryland.com, or call 410-761-6960. Dr. Siegel has been an orthodontist for 26 years, and has practiced as an orthodontic specialist in Glen Burnie since 1988.
Dr. Siegel is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), which has 17,000 members in the United States, Canada and abroad. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who correct improperly aligned teeth and jaws (bad bites). They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are eligible for membership in the AAO.
This content is provided and sponsored by MD Orthodontists of Maryland