It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that children should have an orthodontic screening by the age of seven. At this point in life, the jaw is still growing, and problems with future teeth eruption can be foreseen more easily. If crowding issues are identified, measures can be taken beforehand to make room for the permanent teeth to come in properly.
Some of the main issues that early orthodontic treatments seek to address are crossbites, crowding, and protruding front teeth. If these issues are being caused by an upper dental arch that is too small, then a device known as a palatal expander can be used to expand the upper dental arch and create more room. For an adult, the jaw is finished growing, meaning that this is not as easy of an option to do. Creating more room will not only help ensure that the teeth come in properly, but it should also limit the number of extractions that are needed for any future orthodontic work.
Early orthodontic treatments are referred to as Phase One, which usually begins around the age of eight. If further treatment is required, then Phase Two usually begins around the age of eleven or older. It may be possible for our orthodontist in San Pedro to determine that your child is not going to need orthodontic treatment in the future, but it is still wise to get them screened as recommended to save time and money later.