Early Orthodontics

Even though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at the right time ensures the best results and least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, treatment may not be necessary, but a consultation can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

There are some teeth and jaw issues that require early orthodontic treatment even though your child may have baby teeth. Certain jaw conditions like cross bites, underbites, and severe overbites can result in jaw shifting and usually need to be addressed immediately. Some other dental issues that may necessitate early treatment are the early loss of baby teeth or severe crowding.

If your child does not need any orthodontic treatment at the time of your first visit with us, your child will enter into our Mint Kid’s Club. In this program, your child will visit us about twice a year for us to observe the development and growth of their jaws and teeth. The Mint Kid’s Club program gives us the opportunity to assess your child’s growth and to make sure we begin treatment for your child at the optimal time. Best of all, our observation appointments for the Mint Kid’s Club are free!

Does my child need multiple phases of braces? Most children do not need multiple phases of braces. For these kids, there are numerous benefits to delaying treatment until the adult teeth have more fully erupted (normally around 11-13 years old). At this point in your child’s development, jaw growth takes place more rapidly, improving treatment efficiency and resulting in more stable and often better results.

Determining the best time for orthodontic treatment is unique. Dr. Shinmachi will coordinate with you, your child, and your family or pediatric dentist to make sure that the optimal orthodontic treatment begins at the most advantageous time.