Braces...when and why.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all
children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.
An early check-up may tell parents whether a problem is developing. If a
problem is apparent, the orthodontist can advise parents if the problem is
better treated at a younger age, or at a later time when more permanent
teeth are in place. If no problem is apparent, the early check-up provides
parents with the peace of mind that there are no immediate treatment needs.
Untreated orthodontic problems might contribute to tooth decay, diseased
gums, bone destruction, temporomandibular joint problems and loss of
teeth. (More adults over the age of 30 lose their teeth because of
periodontal problems than because of decay.) Protruding teeth are more
susceptible to accidental chipping and other forms of dental injury.
Sometimes, the increased cost of dental care resulting from an untreated
malocclusion (bad bite) may far exceed the cost of orthodontic care. In
addition, if left untreated, malocclusion may have a negative effect on the
psychological well-being of the patient.