The American Association of Orthodontics recommends screening no later than age 7 because:
- The posterior occlusion is established when the first molars erupt. At this time, one can evaluate the antero-posterior and transverse relationships of the occlusion, as well as discover any functional shifts.
- Incisors have begun to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, habits, deep bites, open bites and some facial asymmetries.
- For some, a timely screen will lead to significant treatment benefits; for most, the principal immediate benefit is a parent’s peace of mind.
- The dentist who makes timely referrals is rightly regarded as informed, caring and concerned for the total well being of the patient.