The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that every child be screened by an orthodontist at age 7. For children who have significant jaw discrepancies or severe crowding, early treatment is the only way to achieve an optimal final result long term and to minimize the need for jaw surgery.
In our office, we we prefer to offer early treatment to those patients who have a functional need for it, unless the family has a specific esthetic concern they feel cannot wait. For many years, the total percentage of patients in our office undergoing early intervention has hovered at a low 20 to 30% of our total patients. While many young patients think braces are fun, they are one more thing to brush around!
These children still have 16 more permanent teeth that will erupt, so they will need to plan on full braces or Invisalign Teen once all their permanent teeth are in (usually 12-13 years old). This is known as Phase 2 treatment.
There is wide variation among orthodontist opinions regarding orthodontic treatment in young children. Drs Gorton and Schmohl understand the importance of this decision which can directly influence a child’s growth and development and are therefore comfortable providing a second /third opinion for families deciding the best option for their child.
Orthodontics for Children