Experts recommend children should have their first visit with an orthodontist by the age of 7. Why so early in life? Although some may believe letting the mouth develop as is can be best for the child, in reality, early intervention is key for ensuring best oral health.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics found that children with severely protruding upper front teeth should undergo treatment as quickly as possible in order to avoid serious issues in the future. The study concluded that 1 in 3 children who were treated for this problem, more commonly known as buck teeth, were less likely to experience future dental trauma such as broken or chipped teeth.

"Protruding front teeth cause other problems for children. The 'bite,' the manner in which the upper and lower teeth meet, may be improper, and make it difficult for a child to bite food or to chew properly. The condition can interfere with speech for some individuals. And there's an emotional toll, too, for children who may be bullied because of their teeth," said Dr. Morris N. Poole, president of the American Association of Orthodontists.

The study found that severely protruding teeth occur in 15 percent of children ages 12-15, and is one of the most common issues now treated by orthodontists across the U.S.

By taking charge of the situation early on, both parents and their children can alleviate future issues, decreasing the severity of the orthodontic issue, as well as potential costs and permanent damage.

To learn more about the effects of protruding teeth, or other common orthodontic issues kids face, visit our website.