Why screen by age 7?
The posterior occlusion (bite) is established when the first 6-year permanent molars erupt. At that time, one can evaluate the 3 dimensional relationships of the occlusion, as well as discover any abnormal shifting of the lower jaw during function. Incisors will begin to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, adverse habits, overbites, openbites, and some facial asymmetries. When treatment is necessary, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaws and guide the erupting permanent teeth. For some, a timely screening will lead to significant treatment benefits; for some, an immediate benefit is a parent’s peace of mind.