Orthodontics for Children

Orthodontics for Children: Screen by Age 7 and join our Friendship Heights Ortho Kids Club!

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist around age seven. Just like other health screenings, screening your child by age 7 can prevent little problems from becoming big ones!

Why age 7? By this age, most children have their adult molars in and have established their bite and jaw growth pattern. This makes it the optimal time to bring your child in for an evaluation. Screening by age 7 allows us to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw growth problems sooner, and without surgery or extraction of permanent teeth.

Dr. Murphy takes pride in providing conservative treatment plans. Less than 15% of our patients receive treatment prior to all of their permanent teeth coming in. Our doctor feels so strongly about the importance of this early orthodontic screening, the visit is complimentary; it is our gift to you. No referral is needed.

Early screening allows Dr. Murphy to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more or preserve existing space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
  • Improve the airway to improve sleep disturbances
  • Develop a relationship with your child so if he or she needs future treatment, your son or daughter will be more comfortable with a familiar face.
  • Help prepare parents for whatever orthodontic needs may be in the future.

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Often, we find parents wait for their dentist to tell them they need to be seen. We are specialists in understanding what to look for, and we will provide you with an educational and fun experience for both child and parent.

Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see us:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • A hard time chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Preventive screening now will give your child the best chance for a healthy, beautiful smile in the future, with the least amount of orthodontic treatment.

Proudly serving ​​Potomac, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and the greater DC Area
(202) 686-5100
5301 Wisconsin Ave NW #200, Washington, DC 20015
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