The Importance of early screening for Orthodontics

The Importance of early screening by an orthodontist


Quite often I am asked by parents, “Why do some of my children’s peers have braces already? They’re only in 3rd grade!?” It’s a great question of course, because in the past only children in middle or high school ever had braces.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children at least begin screening with an orthodontist around the age of 7. Although most general dental practitioners are very good at spotting these potential developmental concerns and making recommendations, you do not need a “referral” to begin this process with your child. As a child develops, certain dental milestones should occur within the time frames expected to ensure normal skeletal and dental development.  An orthodontist, given the opportunity, can recognize an interruption in this “normal” developmental cycle and intervene to correct the abnormal development. This gives your child a better chance of avoiding longer and more complicated treatment needs later in the middle or high school years.  For example, many times early intervention can prevent the need for permanent tooth extraction, asymmetric jaw growth or impaction of permanent canines.

Rest assured, if your child is developing normally, there will be no “need” to begin early orthodontic treatment and your orthodontist will place your child on a recall system to continue to monitor their growth and development. In our office these monitoring recalls are completed at “no charge”. Having spent 30 years watching children develop, Dr. Moles has learned that a very conservative approach to treating developmental issues is best and we rarely initiate staged care involving braces.  Should your child display the need for orthodontic intervention staged care will be recommended utilizing palatal expanders and limited braces to correct the growth and development discrepancies and is furthermore, reserved for children with serious developmental concerns. Generally, recommending strategic extraction of certain primary teeth to “game” development of erupting permanent teeth is the most common intervention and does not require “braces”. An exciting addition to our options for treatment of the developing dentition is Invisalign’s newest product Invisalign First. A series of removable aligners are designed to be worn throughout the developing years to assist with improved guidance of erupting adult teeth. Utilizing removable therapy in a growing child has many benefits including the ability to maintain better oral hygiene throughout the process eliminating the risk of cavities and gum inflammations commonly associated with “fixed” appliances.

So the next time you see a young child with braces, the likely answer is that child had a real need for intervention and you will likely see that child in braces again, in Middle school.

To schedule your complimentary evaluation visit or call my office at 301-874-4747, I will be happy to meet with you and your child.

Lori Tayman, Treatment Coordinator for Dr. Jon Moles Lori Tayman Lori has been in the orthodontic field since 1997. She is a Maryland State Certified Dental Radiation Technologist as well as, a Maryland State Qualified Orthodontic Assistant and is currently the Practice Coordinator for The Village Orthodontist and Gateway Orthodontics in Frederick and Thurmont, Maryland. Lori is also the co-owner and coach of it. Orthodontic Practice Coaching in Baltimore Maryland.

You Might Also Enjoy...

New Year's Resolutions For A Healthy Smile

Now that 2019 is here, many of us are making New Year’s resolutions so that we can improve the quality of our lives. Your adult and children’s orthodontist in Frederick MD, Dr. Moles, has a few good suggestions for resolutions that can help you achieve and

DIY Orthodontics

Online aligner therapy…. Why not?This is a question I have received with growing regularity. Why not just do it yourself? There does seem to be a YouTube video explaining how to do just about everything these days.  In all honesty, I just searched how to r

Summer BBQ Foods to Avoid While Eating with Braces

Summertime is in full swing and the BBQ grills are firing up all around your Maryland neighborhood. At The Village Orthodontist, we want you or your child to have the best braces experience possible - whether they are receiving metal braces or clear braces

Dental Monitoring FAQs

The world has become data-driven - whether it’s monitoring web traffic with Google Analytics or comparing data between teachers to determine how best to drive students to meet the standards. And the world has also become dependent on the power of mobile te

The Importance of Orthodontic Retention

At The Village Orthodontist, Dr. Moles and his team enjoy watching our patients finish their treatment, and enjoy the moments when they get to see their beautiful new smiles for the first time! Once you’re done wearing braces or Invisalign, the retention p