Douglas Peyton, DDS, MS | Des Moines Orthodontics  
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What Is the Right Age?


The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child should have an evaluation by an orthodontist no later than age 7. By this age, we can identify subtle problems with jaw growth and developing teeth, determine if treatment is needed, and offer advice and guidance as to when the appropriate age to start treatment would be. That's important because for each patient there is an ideal time to begin treatment in order to have the best possible result.

At the examination, we may identify a developing orthodontic problem, but determine that orthodontic treatment is not immediately needed. We would monitor the problem through periodic visits to our office and then, if necessary, initiate treatment at the appropriate time. In other cases, the problem may be one that could benefit from some form of early treatment.

No matter how young your child is, if you notice any of the early indicators of possible problems, he or she should have an evaluation right away. These would include:

  • Jaws that are too far back or too far forward
  • Upper front teeth that protrude excessively over the lower teeth (overbite)
  • Upper front teeth that sit further back than the lower front teeth (underbite)
  • Crowded or spaced teeth
  • Upper and lower front teeth that do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Upper front teeth that cover most of the lower front teeth when biting (deep bite)
  • Thumb or finger sucking that continues after 6 or 7 years old
  • Uneven or excessive tooth wear
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
oines Orthodontics
  Des Moines Orthodontics
22221 7th Avenue South, Des Moines WA 98198
p: 206.824.8288
f: 206.824.3859
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