SmileWell Early Screening Program

Not-for-profit community service from baby teeth to adult teeth

What is SmileWell?

Ocean’s Edge Orthodontics Early Screening Program

This is a not-for-profit community service that Dr. Murdoch provides for children transitioning from their baby to adult teeth. Here at Ocean’s Edge Orthodontics we are the growth and development specialists, and have created another level in our Observation and Guidance Program (called SmileWell) that has a focus on oral hygiene and preventative oral care while monitoring each child’s growth and development! Children enrolled in this program will have a one-on-one appointment with an oral care expert (with a focus on coaching children in the importance of brushing, flossing, diet, etc) every 6-18 months and will be closely following and monitored by Dr. Murdoch, with any recommendations and prescriptions to aid the eruption of the adult teeth and to prevent more complex and invasive orthodontic treatment in the future.

No dental referral is required to enroll children in this program or to inquire about Orthodontic treatment.

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Common Questions

Our team has answered some of the most common questions we get. If you still have questions or need help, please get in touch. We’re more than happy to help!

Ask Us Anything!

What is the best age to visit an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist for an initial assessment at around age 7 when facial growth is beginning to accelerate. Our goal is to assess and monitor dental growth and development as they transition from their baby teeth to adult teeth, to hopefully prevent the need for more complex and invasive orthodontic care in the future.

Unless a dental growth and development issue is detected (and early intervention treatment is recommended to aid the eruption of adult teeth, and correct an early bite issue that will affect growth patterns or the health of the teeth), most orthodontic treatment is most effective when the child enters their growth phase and all adult teeth are in place (usually age 12-14 years of age). However, braces or Invisalign can still be an option for adults!

What happens at the initial appointment?

Usually, a photo and an x-ray (as needed) are taken, along with an exam and initial assessment carried out by Dr. Murdoch. Dr. Murdoch will then explain any recommendations and advise the next steps.

How often will my child have a check-up?

These visits do not replace your regular dental checkups and cleanings, so these should carry on as normal. In the OEO SmileWell program, children are seen every 6-18 months depending on what Dr. Murdoch prescribes and needs to monitor.

The visits will be a one-on-one appointment with an advanced oral care specialist to help coach and guide patients to establish a healthy oral care regime. Each child will also be closely monitored by Dr. Murdoch, and any recommendations he has will be explained.

What are the steps that can be taken to be preventative?

Upon screening, some children present with conditions such as difficulties with chewing and biting, teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all, crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth, early or late loss of baby teeth, teeth that have grown out of position, teeth that protrude, jaw misalignment, missing or extra teeth. Simple steps to aid the growth and development of adult teeth (such as early removal of baby teeth) can assist Mother Nature and potentially avoid more complex and intensive orthodontic care in the future. In more severe cases, an early intervention phase of orthodontic treatment may be needed.

Schedule A Consultation Today!

Ocean’s Edge Orthodontics has two convenient locations in Nanaimo and Parksville, BC. You can get started with your child’s orthodontic care by requesting an appointment online or calling us to set up your noobligation evaluation!

Everyone here looks forward to meeting you and your family! It will be our pleasure to help your child achieve a happy, healthy, and beautiful smile.

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