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When Is It Time to See the Orthodontist?

How to know if it is the right time to start treatment.


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Your child’s orthodontist isn’t just focused on her beautiful smile. Properly aligned teeth can also help to prevent serious dental problems down the road. But when should she start treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that kids see an orthodontist at the first sign of a problem (such as crowding or an underbite) and no later than age 7. This way, orthodontists can decide when to start treatment.

The AAO suggests asking these questions at your child’s first visit:

• How do you stay up-to-date on the latest orthodontic treatment?

• What goes into deciding the right treatment for my child?

• Do you offer payment plans?

• Do you accept my insurance?

• How long will treatment last?

• How often will my child need to come in?

• What can be done to minimize my child’s pain and discomfort during treatment?

• If my child needs braces: What foods should he avoid? What will he need to do to keep his teeth clean?

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