When to Start Visiting an Orthodontist

Our offices in Chesterfield and St. Charles welcome children starting at age 7, teenagers, as well as adults. Dr. Brown prefers to see children at age 7 (and sometimes earlier if your dentist recommends an evaluation), an age that’s recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists for a first orthodontic visit to detect eruption or growth issues as early as possible.

Why start at age 7?

  • The first permanent molars and all the incisors usually have erupted or are erupting
  • Growth issues such as underbite, crossbite, and other conditions become apparent
  • Missing teeth can be detected and planned in advance
  • Supernumerary (extra) teeth can be identified
  • Other permanent tooth eruption issues can be detected and treated early

Many children don’t need treatment at this age, but planning can begin for treatment that will be needed and completed later. If there is a growth issue, it can be altered or treated so potential jaw surgery is not needed later.

What to Look for in your Seven Year Old

As a parent, you can look for the following problems.  If you have any doubts, we recommend setting up an appointment to get a full evaluation from an orthodontic specialist, not your general dentist.

Malocclusions visible at age 7

Interceptive treatment may be appropriate in the kinds of problems such as:  crossbite, crowding, open bite, protrusion, oral habits, underbite, ectopic eruption, and spacing.