Early Treatment

A beautiful smile and good dental health make a difference in your child’s well-being and self-confidence. While braces for teens are more common, braces for kids can pave the way for a better final outcome as your child continues to grow and develop.


Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

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. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

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, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces

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, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

According to studies, 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.

An open bite is a gap between the biting surfaces of the front teeth and can be a result of a finger or dummy sucking habit or may a result of the developing occlusion. The upper and lower teeth tend to slant outwards and do not meet when closed.

Sometimes teeth can become crowded if there is not enough room in the dental arch, teeth erupting in the wrong position, retainer baby teeth when they should have exfoliated naturally or the crowding may be the result of narrow dental arches. Sometimes treating early with improving narrow dental arches may resolve the initial crowding prior to the eruption of the adult teeth.

Spaces Between Teeth
Spaces or gaps are also common and can be treated effectively with traditional braces

An overbite, where upper teeth are prominent to the lower teeth may be the result of a thumb-sucking or dummy habit. Soft tissues (lips) can influence the dental alignment and jaw position (smaller lower jaws) may be the cause. Overbites are particularly important to correct as the front teeth become more vulnerable to injury if they are not properly positioned.

An underbite occurs when the lower jaw protrudes past the upper jaw. This may be dental in origin and can be correctly simply or may indicate a difference in jaw size requiring more involved treatment.

A crossbite is when teeth are misaligned such that upper teeth, perhaps on one side, erupt interior to the bottom teeth. This type of bite is treated successfully with traditional braces.