Early orthodontic treatment

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment during childhood ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, parents should bring their children in for an evaluation at the first signs of orthodontic problems, and no later than age 7. An early evaluation can provide an idea of how his or her teeth are going to look, and assess what kind of treatment, if any, is necessary to guide the teeth into a winning smile.


What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, teeth crowding or “gummy” smiles. If you catch these developments when the adult teeth are still emerging, you have a better, easier time correcting problems.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
A few of the best reasons to get early interceptive treatment:
– Prevent crowding: your child will have more room for erupting teeth
– Influence jaw growth: early interceptive treatments can promote facial symmetry and a natural bite
– Protect front teeth: protruding front teeth are a potential hazard for kids who play sports.
– Reducing treatment time with braces: your kids will appreciate this reason the most; the sooner they start, the sooner they can achieve their winning smile!

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, and clean your teeth, not to mention your overall confidence in your appearance.

Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you.

Download these charts to help your child’s motivation for a healthy mouth!
I Brush My Teeth 2 Times Each Day!
No More Thumbsucking!