The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children see an orthodontic specialist at age seven for many different reasons. The main reason is that they have started losing their primary teeth and getting their permanent teeth. This is a great time to evaluate how their teeth are coming in and how the jaws are growing and developing. If the patient has a more severe case, this also serves as one of the best times to begin early treatment. However, if the patient does not need early treatment they will enter the observation phase.
What is an observation patient?
An observation patient is usually a younger child who is either not ready to start treatment or a child in phased treatment that is waiting on the next phase to begin. In both cases, the waiting period is usually because we are waiting on specific teeth to erupt. We do not want to rush treatment in any case. It is important that all permanent teeth are accounted for before we begin our plan to move them.
During this observation phase, your child will come in for scheduled appointments to track their oral development. These appointments will help Dr. Lauren Olson determine the optimal time to begin their orthodontic treatment. Olson Orthodontics includes the observation appointments in the treatment plan for each case. This will be reviewed with you in more detail by case as everyone’s treatment plans are different!
How do I know if my child needs braces?
The only way to get a good idea about what your child’s orthodontic needs might be is to schedule an exam with Dr. Lauren Olson. Our initial exams are complimentary and we will review all details and treatment options with you at that time. While you are able to see how your child’s teeth have come in, many issues are hidden in the gums and jaws that are unable to be seen without an orthodontic specialist. To schedule an exam, you can call or fill out an online appointment request form. We look forward to meeting you!