Ortho for All Ages > Children

Children | Adolescent | Adults

Early Treatment

What Is The Ideal Age To See An Orthodontist?

  • The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be evaluated at age 7, or younger if a problem is noted.
  • This enables the orthodontist to guide your child's jaw and teeth during their most active growing stages.
  • Research has shown that facial development can be most affected between the ages of 7 and 11.

Look for these early warning signs:


Crowding: If there is no space between the baby teeth, then there will not be enough room for the permanent teeth. Baby teeth or permanent teeth are crowded or overlapped.


Spacing: Noticeably large gaps between the teeth.

Upper Dental Protrusion

Upper Dental Protrusion: The top teeth stick out too far ("buck teeth"). Most common orthodontic problem and easier to correct if treated early.

Deep Bite

Deep Bite: The upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth too much and the lower front teeth are barely visible.


Underbite: The lower front teeth stick out further than the upper front teeth.

Open Bite

Open Bite: The front teeth do not touch when the back teeth are touching.

Cross Bite

Cross Bite: An upper tooth fits inside a lower tooth or the upper back teeth are narrower than the lower teeth.

Midline Discrepancy

Midline Discrepancy: The midline of the upper teeth does not line up with the midline of the lower teeth.

These Behaviors May Also Warrant Early Orthodontic Treatment:

  • Grinding of teeth
  • Popping or clicking of the jaws or any difficulty chewing
  • Breathing with an open mouth
  • Habits which involve placing fingers or objects in the mouth
  • Difficulty closing lips over teeth (when child smiles they appear to show too much gum)

Early Treatment Can Prevent:

  • Crowding and the extraction of permanent teeth
  • Surgery to correct jaw malalignments
  • Unsightly facial imbalance
  • Braces at an older age
  • Poor self-esteem resulting from crooked teeth

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