Donald F. Larson, DMD 814 N. Saint Asaph St., 2nd Floor | Alexandria, VA 22314
Contact Us: (703) 838-8998

Early Treatment

If your child has not seen an orthodontist, consider visiting Dr. Larson, at Larson Orthodontics, for an early evaluation. There can be a huge advantage for your child's oral health if they receive orthodontic care earlier rather than later. Read below for more detailed information. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Old Town Alexandria, VA office today!

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

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation 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 some warning signs signifying 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 imbalances or asymmetry
  12. Grinding or clinching of teeth

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it may be time for you to schedule an evaluation with an orthodontist.

What are the benefits for my child to have an orthodontic evaluation?

By guiding growth and development, this can help by 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 the best time for my child to see an orthodontist?

By the age of 7, your child's first adult molars erupt, which establishes the back bite. At this time, an exam can be done to evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible open bite, overbite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

What are the advantages of preventive orthodontic treatment?

Some of the most direct results of preventive treatment are:

  • Reducing treatment time with braces
  • We can create room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal

Why should bad bites, or malocclusions, be treated?

  • 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 smile that will last a lifetime.

Dr. Larson is experienced in treating patients of all ages. If a member of your family is in need of an orthodontic examination, give our office a call, or just stop by to schedule an appointment! We also offer Adult Orthodontic Treatment, Self-Ligating Damon Braces, Invisalign, and Invisalign Teen.

Also, helping patients in Fairlington, Rosemont, Park Fairfax, Del Ray and Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

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