When should my child see an Orthodontist?

We hear this question a lot by our parents and even general and pediatric dentists. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first visit to occur around age 7. Your child’s comprehensive exam with Dr. Altherr is complimentary and only takes about 30 to 45 minutes. For most of the kids, Dr. A will say keep growing teeth, everything looks good, and we’ll see you in about a year. Also, for most kids, we will eventually wait to treat them when most of their adult teeth are in, which is around 11 for girls and 12 for boys. For about 5-10% of the kids, however, they will have problems (below) that do require early treatment/intervention.

1) Posterior crossbites.

2) Underbites.

3) Thumb/finger habit after age 6.

4) Traumatic anterior crossbites.

5) Impacted teeth.

6) Ectopic teeth.

If early treatment is not performed prior to age 10, then future treatment will be more complicated and expensive and even more importantly, less stable. You do not need a direct referral from your dentist for Dr. Altherr to examine your child. Also, some parents need the peace of mind to make sure that they are not missing something; so this exam would provide you the assurance that you are wanting.

Note: Dr. Edward Altherr is a board-certified orthodontist in private practice serving Apex, NC, and the surrounding towns/cities of Cary, Holly Springs, Morrisville and Fuquay-Varina. Dr. Altherr’s training in orthodontics was at the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s program where we studied under many great orthodontic icons like Dr. William Proffitt and Dr. Camilla Tulloch. During his orthodontic training, Dr. Altherr’s research and further focus was on the orthodontic treatment of the mixed-dentition (mix of baby and adult teeth in kids between 6 and 14 yo). With his research and over 16 years of clinical orthodontic experience as of 2018, Dr. Altherr is considered an expert in mixed-dentition orthodontics and other areas of orthodontics like temporary skeletal anchors. This web blog is for educational purposes only. Dr. Altherr is licensed only in the state of North Carolina, and cannot diagnose and recommend orthodontic treatment over the phone or internet.

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