The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids visit an orthodontist by the age of seven. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for Dr. Christopher to diagnose emerging problems like crossbites, underbites, crowding and spacing, and catch tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
A Conservative Approach
Dr. Christopher takes a conservative approach and minimizes treatment on younger patients. In most cases children will not need braces right away and can continue to be monitored for growth and development by Walla Walla Orthodontics until the time is right for braces.
Getting a Head Start
While we try to avoid starting orthodontic treatment when patients are very young, in some cases, beginning early is actually beneficial and can make treatment easier and less expensive down the road. In some cases, it can also help patients avoid surgery or extractions. As a specialist in orthodontics, Dr. Christopher can guide jaw growth and development with appliances, help the permanent teeth come in properly, creating space for crowded teeth, and regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches.
The Right Time
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
• Early or late loss of baby teeth
• A hard time chewing or biting food
• Mouth breathing
• Finger or thumb sucking
• Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
• Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
• Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
• Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
• Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight