Early orthodontic treatment

Starting orthodontics at the right time for your child

Tim and young girl at observation appointment
Is there window in your child's life when it makes the most sense to consider orthodontic treatment? Yes. Early orthodontic treatment can make a huge difference in a child's self esteem while reducing your costs.

The American Association of Orthodontists says that your child's first orthodontic screening should occur when you first see orthodontic problems emerging (or by age seven at the latest). The advantage of an early first evaluation is threefold:

  • It can help you and your doctor plan the best time to begin treatment
  • It enhances your child's chances of receiving a good treatment outcome
  • It may help you and your orthodontist determine that no treatment will be necessary at all
  • Why is age seven the "magic number?"

For most children, it's around age seven when their first adult molars will come in. These molars will help establish a child's adult bite. A thorough examination around age seven can predict common orthodontic problems like:

  • Overbites
  • Crowding
  • Open bites
  • Gummy smiles


If treatment is necessary, early orthodontic treatment is your best bet to give your child proper room for adult teeth to grow in, enhanced facial symmetry, a lower likelihood of having to remove teeth, a lower chance of experiencing dental trauma due to teeth that stick out awkwardly, and perhaps most importantly, a shorter time period spent in braces.

While adults benefit from orthodontic treatment too, we like to say there are 32 reasons to screen your child for orthodontics early (there are 32 teeth in the healthy adult mouth). Early orthodontic treatment can not only give your child a lifetime of beautiful smiles, it can set them on a course for long-lasting dental health.

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