Early Orthodontic Treatment

Can’t my child wait until they are a teen for orthodontic treatment?

This is a question parents often ask, and for most, the answer is yes. In fact, their child may never need orthodontic treatment at all. However, for a small percentage of patients, treatment has to begin while they are still quite young.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. This is an age where children have a mix of adult and baby teeth, making it easier to see any severe problems that might be present. Most children will be sent off and told to come back around age 11. However, some will be asked to start treatment soon.

When this happens, it is called Two-Phase Treatment. Phase One starts between age 8 and 9 and Phase Two takes place around age 11. The purpose of this treatment is to correct severe problems before they require jaw surgery and tooth extractions. A child treated early on can rely on appliances alone.

The reason delaying treatment for these children is not advised is that once more permanent teeth come in, it is harder to avoid extractions, and once the jaw has finished most of its growth, corrects require surgeries.

If your child is aged seven or older, now is the time to have them seen. Even if you are unable to see signs of requiring treatment, sometimes they are not as obvious as you might expect. We offer free consultations, so you do not need to worry about breaking the bank to find out if early intervention is needed.