Orthodontics for Children & Teens

Trust Your Child's Smile with an Orthodontist

Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected earlier. That's why we recommend that every child see an orthodontist by the age 7. At that point, the first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in and an orthodontist can evaluate the position of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontic treatment for children can occur in 2 phases:

Phase 1: Early Interceptive Treatment

Early interceptive treatment usually occurs between ages of 6 and 10. During this phase of treatment, an orthodontist may be making more space for developing teeth or correcting improper bites or harmful oral habits.

Phase2: Comprehensive Treatment

Comprehensive treatment starts after all adult teeth have erupted, which is usually by the age of 12. During this phase of treatment, an orthodontist will use full braces to guide a child's teeth and jaws into alignment.

Signs Your Child May Need Orthodontic Treatment

While a child's teeth may look straight, there could be issues that only an orthodontist can identify. If you recognize any of these signs in your child, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Sucking thumbs or fingers
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Inability to comfortably close lips