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American Association of Orthodontists Recommendation for Orthodontic Check-Ups No Later than Age 7

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

Reasons for this Examination:

  • The posterior occlusion is established when the first molars erupt. At that time, one can evaluate the antero-posterior and transverse relationships of the occlusion, as well as discover any functional shifts or crossbites.
  • Incisors have begun to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, habits, deep bites, open bites and some jaw discrepancies.
  • For some, a timely evaluation will lead to significant treatment benefits; for others, the principal immediate benefit is a parent’s peace of mind.

The AAO does not advocate comprehensive orthodontic treatment at age 7. However, interceptive treatment may be appropriate in the kinds of problems shown on the reverse.

Final treatment decisions should be made among the parent, child’s dentist and orthodontist.

Resources:

mylifemysmile.org

AAO members in your area.

Problems to Watch for in Seven Year Olds

Malocclusions like those illustrated below, may benefit from early diagnosis and referral to an orthodontic specialist for a full evaluation.

Anterior Crossbite Posterior Crossbite
Anterior Crossbite Posterior Crossbite
Crowding Open Bite
Crowding Open Bite
An open bite is usually due to an oral habit
Protrusion Ectopic Eruption
Protrusion Ectopic Eruption
Ectopically erupting maxillary molar
Complete Class III Diastema
Complete Class III Diastema
Oral Habits
Oral Habits

Important Role

As a dental health professional, you hold an important position on the dental team. You are often the first to see a patient and first to recognize that the patient may have an orthodontic problem.

The orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time. By working together, the dental team can achieve results for patients that cannot be produced alone.

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