The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child see an orthodontist by age 7.
In some cases, an orthodontic concern may require an earlier orthodontic consultation. Around age 7, the first adult molars typically erupt, helping to define a patient’s back bite and allowing the orthodontist to better evaluate the bite. Also known as Phase I treatment, early orthodontic intervention usually occurs between the ages of 7-11 and can involve orthodontic appliances that create space in the mouth and correct bite problems while growth is still occurring.
This stage is generally completed early, while patients still have mixed dentition (baby and adult teeth). Treatment at this age may not be necessary. Still, orthodontic monitoring can help anticipate the ideal timeline for the most effective treatment and also help to prevent more serious problems in the future.
Some results of effective early treatment:
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Creating space for crowded, erupting teeth
- Reducing the risk of injury to protruding front teeth
- Preserving needed space for permanent teeth
- Reducing future orthodontic treatment time
Phase II / Adolescent Treatment
Phase II typically occurs between the ages of 9 and 14, while children are rapidly growing. These orthodontic patients have typically lost all of their deciduous (baby) teeth, and their permanent teeth have mostly come in. Using traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments, we can harness the rapid growth during these adolescent years to facilitate the treatment of orthodontic problems for the most effective results.