Children orthodontics

The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that children receive an orthodontic assessment by the age of seven years old. Although this is too young for children to have braces, early assessment can predict whether early intervention is required or anticipate the timing of treatment in the future. Dr Andy Wu agrees with this philosophy and recommends that children should be assessed around the age of 7 or 8. At this age, the first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated.

At this early stage, orthodontic treatment may not be required and treatment is only offered when it is absolutely necessary. Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Most of our patients around this age are reviewed periodically to monitor the dental development and growth.

When early treatment is required, the aim of the treatment is to guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions and reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth. Furthermore, appliances can be used to stop habits such as thumb sucking, which can lead to more serious orthodontic problems later in life. Early treatment can prevent future orthodontic problems.