We often associate orthodontic treatment with the teenage years, and for the most part, this perception is accurate. Young children don't typically have braces, but they do need to see an orthodontist early in life. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that kids have an initial consultation by the time they reach age seven. The purpose of this exam is to provide an assessment of a child's teeth and jaws.

Young children are still growing and losing teeth, but at the same time they also have at least a few permanent teeth in their upper and lower jaws. This is enough for an orthodontist to begin evaluating any areas of concern.

"A variety of conditions can affect children's teeth and jaws at this age," Dr. John Volz, a Mayo Clinic orthodontist, wrote in the medical system's Medical Edge column. "In an initial evaluation, an orthodontist looks for teeth erupting out of their normal position, as well as missing teeth or extra teeth. Early loss of baby teeth or delayed eruption of permanent teeth may be identified at this time, too."

After the assessment, it is unlikely that the orthodontic will recommend braces, but they may request that your child come back for periodic examinations over the next few years. The information uncovered may also be useful to your child's general dentist who will be keeping a closer watch on teeth and jaw development.

Has your child had their first orthodontic assessment? If not, you'll want to schedule an examination with a pediatric orthodontist in New York. For next steps, contact KidsBracesNYC today!