The American Association of Orthodontis recommends children by age 7 to visit an orthodontist for an orthodontic screening (read more). Dr. Thomas and his associates will determine if it is the best time for the patient to be treated and will advise parents on the orthodontic process and phases. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, Dr. Thomas can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions or jaw surgery, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.
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