Why should a 7-year-old see the orthodontist?


A common assumption is that orthodontic work should wait until all permanent teeth are in place. Not necessarily, explains Dr. Scott Ralph of Liberty Lake Orthodontics.

“There is a window of time before jaw and facial growth have finished during which early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing,” he said. “Not to mention, early treatment can make the traditional teenage braces timeframe shorter and less complicated.”

Dr. Ralph recommends seeing kids around age 7 for a free consultation. At this appointment, severe crowding and jaw growth disharmony issues can be addressed, often avoiding the need years later to extract adult teeth or undergo jaw surgery. A first phase or orthodontic treatment may also be recommended, which takes advantage of a window of opportunity to create room in the arches, correct jaw growth imbalances or bite problems and improve self-esteem, among other benefits.

“For many kids, early treatment can pay huge dividends,” Dr. Ralph said. “Obviously, we are not out to treat all 7-year-olds — only the ones who will really benefit from it. Parents typically feel it’s worth the free consultation to find out.”

Obviously, we are not out to treat all 7-year-olds —only the ones who will really benefit from it.

Dr. Scott Ralph, Liberty Lake Orthodontics

Of course, Liberty Lake Orthodontics sees kids, teens and adults of all ages. Dr. Ralph’s customized treatment options also include Invisalign and clear braces. For more on Dr. Ralph and Liberty Lake Orthodontics, see below.

NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2019 Liberty Lake Yearbook.

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