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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

ORTHODONTICS AND OSTEOPATHY #1: When should you pay your first visit to the orthodontist?

When should you pay your first visit to the orthodontist?

Many of my patients are children sent for evaluation and osteopathic treatment by dentists and orthodontists for specialist care before the possible fitting of orthodontic appliances.

One of the most frequently asked questions is: at what age is it best to start having your mouth and teeth evaluated?

Experts say that a first visit should be carried out between the ages of four and seven as, at this age, it is already possible to intercept growth-related problems and save interventions that might be necessary during puberty. In this phase of life the first phase of exchange of milk teeth begins, there is the eruption of the first permanent teeth and some problems related to bone development can be encountered. Osteopathy is a prevention profession and has always aimed at taking care of the patient from birth in order to be able to identify and correct growth alterations that could cause problems in the future or that are hindering normal growth.

During the first orthodontic visit, buccal alterations and anomalies are evaluated such as quantity, position, colour, shape, size, and any bad habits such as thumb sucking, and the presence of bite alterations, tooth decay, tooth loss are investigated.

The osteopath's intervention can be both corrective and accompanying and aims to optimize the structure-function relationship also in anticipation of a future appliance.

It is best to intervene on malocclusions such as crossbite from the age of four, because this alteration can lead to asymmetries in bone growth and therefore of the face.

On others, such as excessive crowding of the teeth or in cases where the front incisors protrude too much, the correction can be made around the age of six to eight.

The first visit serves precisely to intercept problems and evaluate whether early intervention is appropriate.

Based on age, a second important moment of evaluation is puberty, when all the permanent teeth have now come out: at this point it may be useful to perfect the alignment and everything is easier if any large defects have already been eliminated beforehand.

After planning the therapeutic program, whether it is only osteopathic, only orthodontic, or mixed, it is good practice to provide checks every six or twelve months for monitoring.

One of the most common mistakes made by parents is to postpone the first orthodontic visit when the permanent dentition occurs to evaluate whether the structure of the teeth and mouth is correct. However, we have seen that it is better to do this first in order to be able to preventively evaluate and correct situations that could be more complex after teething. Orthodontist and Osteopath will work in collaboration for the best solution for the patient.


Valentina Carlile - Osteopath expert in Osteopathy applied to voice and speech disorders since 2002. For information and reservations visit the page Contacts

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