Right Age

Orthodontists today can successfully correct most problems regardless of the patient’s age. But that does not mean that the orthodontic treatment starting age does not matter. In fact it may play a significant role in the total time and expenses required for the completion of the orthodontic treatment.

It's best for children to see an orthodontist by age 7 for a screening to determine if orthodontic treatment will be needed, and the best time to start treatment. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated.

When treatment is begun at the right time, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Timely treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.

Braces will, of course, benefit your child at any age. But to maximize the results in the shortest amount of time, we always recommend starting when the 12-year-molars are in, to take advantage of their rapid growth and development.

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