The Right Time

Dr. Tadej and Dr. Baker are highly trained in children’s orthodontics, preventative orthodontic treatment, and dentofacial orthopedics, or the guidance of facial development. While there are warning signs listed below that should prompt you to see an orthodontist, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that ALL children see an orthodontist around age 7.  There is often no need at that point for orthodontic treatment, however this early screening can help you provide the best care for your child now and in the future.

Warning Signs it is time to see an Orthodontist

Recognize any of these early warning signs?

  1. Early or late loss of baby teeth
  2. Difficulty chewing or biting
  3. Mouth breathing
  4. Finger sucking or other oral habits
  5. Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  6. Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  7. Speech difficulty
  8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  9. Protruding teeth
  10. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  11. Facial imbalance or asymmetry
  12. Grinding or clinching of teeth
  13. Social issues related to the appearance of the teeth or smile

If you recognize any of the above issues, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, it may be time to schedule an evaluation with an Orthodontist. Even if you don't recongize any of these issues, if your child is over age 7 and has never had an orthodontic evaluation, now is the time to schedule a complimentary initial exam with Tadej Orthodontics!

When is the best time to begin orthodontics for my child or teen?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal age to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

What are the benefits of early an orthodontic evaluation?

An early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Why is age 7 considered the ideal time for screening?

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

Is your child or teen a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is not just for improving the look of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

Why should bad bites be treated?

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:

  • Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
  • Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
  • Cross bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
  • Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.

Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you.

If you have any questions regarding the material above, or orthodontic treatment in general, please give our Bakersfield office a call. Our friendly staff will be glad to assist you, or email us at after office hours.

Tadej Orthodontics also offers early orthodontic treatment and braces to children and teens in Tehachapi, Delano, Shafter, Taft, and Wasco in Kern County California.