Your Child and Pediatric Orthodontics

Have you ever asked — “What is Pediatric Orthodontics?” Well, we’ve got you covered. Read more to learn more about the orthodontic treatment plans we can provide for your children and please contact us when you are ready to talk more.

Starting orthodontic treatment early on in your child’s life will help to ensure a healthy smile that both looks and feels good for many years to come. Proper orthodontic treatment will improve your child’s personal appearance and boost overall self-confidence at a young critical age. Because all jaws grow at different rates, receiving an initial consultation at a younger age will give you and your family adequate information for creating the more effective treatment plan with your orthodontist.



You may be questioning what the best age to get braces might be. The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that parents take their children for orthodontic treatment by the age of seven, before all of their permanent teeth come in. Because of this wider disparity in tooth development around the age of seven, an expert will need to determine whether your child needs orthodontic treatment or if the changes occuring are a normal part of developmental growth.


An orthodontist will also be able to tell if there is enough room in your child’s mouth to accommodate the permanent teeth coming. Most orthodontic conditions are easier to treat when they are identified earlier. During this time, natural growth processes are at their peak. If some of these conditions are left untreated at a young age they may require more extensive treatment in the future including surgery or permanent tooth extractions. You may be wondering if it is now too late to get braces; and we are here to reassure you that every child is different, and we can still move forward with treatment if you decide to explore braces at age 8 or braces at age 10 for example.



While there is no age limit for braces, there are some behaviors that require your child to seek out pediatric orthodontics earlier, particularly if you have a question about the alignment of their teeth or bite. Additional reasons to see an orthodontist sooner than the age of seven include:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Mouth breathing and snoring
  • Trouble biting, speaking or chewing
  • Protruding, crowded or widely spaced teeth
  • Clenching jaws
  • Grinding teeth

If you notice these behaviors in your child before the age of seven, we strongly recommend making an appointment with an orthodontist.



1. Proactive Treatment by a Pediatric Orthodontist

There is no best age for braces, however, visiting a pediatric orthodontist will help to ensure proper alignment in your child’s jaws by allowing the orthodontist to determine the best time to begin any necessary treatment. The orthodontist will watch any growth patterns as your child develops, and this will allow for early detection and timely treatment if/when any issues arise. This process can become much more difficult after your child gets older and his or her jaws and teeth have completed necessary growth.

2. Supporting the Emergence of Permanent Teeth

Children typically start their development of permanent teeth by the age of seven, which often means a pediatric orthodontist will be able to recommend the necessary care and best treatment options to consider at an early age.

3. Catching and Reversing Bad Habits Early

Pediatric Orthodontics can help to identify any bad oral habits at an early age and helps to mitigate the negative effects they may have on your child’s teeth and mouth. The best age for braces can often be determined by seeing an orthodontist before the age of seven to help prevent any bad habits — such as thumb sucking — and improve the overall orthodontist experience. If left untreated, these negative habits can increase the need for emergency orthodontic treatment or even surgery down the road.

4. Less Invasive and More Cost Effective

The earlier you begin orthodontic treatment, the less invasive and more cost effective it can be. While your child’s permanent teeth are still in the process of growing, an orthodontist can help to identify any issues early enough to begin treatment before any issues can begin to worsen.

5. Avoid Issues That Emerge From Permanent Teeth

Some problems are treated much easier in children than in adults. It is helpful for the orthodontist to evaluate how your permanent teeth are coming through the gums in order to determine if treatment is necessary.

6. Create a Financial Plan for the Future

Seeking pediatric orthodontics at a young age helps to better budget for the future. We strongly recommend asking questions in early appointments to get an more accurate idea of what to expect. Treatment plans can include various appliances at different stages. Seeing an orthodontist early will help you to create a plan that works with your unique finances.

7. More Favorable Long-Term Results

The earlier an orthodontist identifies any issues and begins treatment, the better your results will be down the road. Visiting an orthodontist before the jaw completes its growth results in a faster, easier and overall better treatment plan.


Throughout the entire orthodontic industry, pediatric orthodontics is known as Phase I orthodontic Treatment, which is the first of the phases of braces, and it includes progressive treatments for patients in ages ranging from seven to eleven —especially when jaw irregularities are present. During this essential growth period, orthodontic treatment can be the most effective and the least invasive. Early detection allows an orthodontist to create a strategically timed, individualized treatment plan for your child.


The following list outlines potential signs your child may require Phase I orthodontic treatment:

Protruding front teeth Loss of baby teeth too early or too late Trouble biting or chewing Sucking thumb or fingers Underbite or a bite that shifts to one side Misaligned lower and upper teeth Snoring

The goals of Phase I orthodontic treatment include:

Gain proper width of the upper and lower jaws. Create room for crowded teeth to enter. Align the jaws to allow proper growth. Reduce the risk of trauma to protruding teeth. Hold space for permanent teeth that need to erupt. Reduce the need for tooth removal. Reduce treatment time with braces. Minimize the need for surgical treatment with certain growth patterns.

In order to begin Phase I orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist will take digital models, x-rays and photographs of your child’s teeth in order to determine the type of orthodontic appliance needed, the duration of treatment time needed, and the frequency of visits to the orthodontist.


A successful Phase I orthodontic treatment will create room for the child’s permanent teeth to find their path into the mouth, so they are not severely displaced during the growing process. You will likely notice a difference in phase 1 braces before and after, as we will start to address some of the items in the list of signs above. Your child will then be able to rest for about a year or so before beginning phase 2 braces treatment, if needed. Phase 2 braces treatment will correct any issues that may involve the permanent teeth, which should have been decreased during phase 1 braces treatment.


You may be curious about the cost of phase 1 braces, and since there isn’t any set-in-stone treatment for every child, it’s difficult to predict what phase 1 braces will end up costing. We do offer unique financing options and monthly payment place for your braces, which will fit your unique situation so that the braces cost in phase 1 does not ever have to prevent you from achieving a healthy and beautiful smile.

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