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Orthodontic observation appointments: Why are they important?

Your child has been to the orthodontist for an initial visit but isn’t quite ready for braces: Now what? If Dr. Michel determines your child isn’t ready for any orthodontic treatment your child will be scheduled for orthodontic observation appointments.

What is an observation appointment?

Orthodontic observation appointments are shorter visits to our office every 6-12 months to monitor your child’s growth and development.

There are several things Dr. Michel will look for during these visits including baby teeth falling out early or late and extra or missing teeth. He will also look for crowded teeth, unnatural spacing or teeth erupting out of place as well as teeth out of alignment, including crooked teeth or teeth that don’t meet when biting.

If some of these issues exist Dr. Michel may discuss early (interceptive) orthodontic treatment to fix any problems that become more complicated to correct later on in your child’s growth. Extractions may also be recommended to allow permanent teeth to erupt favorably. The timing of interceptive treatments or extractions are crucial to ensure your child has the smoothest orthodontic journey possible.

Dr. Michel will also monitor your child for any harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking, and make suggestions to help eliminate any habits prior to starting orthodontic treatment.

How much do observation appointments cost?

Orthodontic observation appointments are done at no charge. Any photos or x-rays taken are also done at no cost to you. When your child is getting close to being ready for treatment we’ll let you know the anticipated cost for their orthodontic treatment. Dr. Michel will try to give you at least a year advance notice of when treatment will occur so you have the information for planning purposes.

When should I bring my child in for a consultation?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children are seen by an orthodontist around age 7.  The initial check-up with an orthodontist is intended to detect any tooth development problems your child may have and determine the best timing and treatment route.

If your child hasn’t seen an orthodontist yet, don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary consultation. No dentist referral is needed. Call us at 920-739-2400 to schedule a visit! We proudly serve the Appleton area, including Neenah, Menasha, Little Chute, Grand Chute and Kaukauna.