Parents and others often ask, at what age should early orthodontic treatment for children begin?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children be seen by their orthodontist by no later than the age of seven.

At what age should early orthodontic treatment for children begin?

Growth modification (early orthodontic treatment) is part of the first phase of two-stage orthodontic treatment of children with a malocclusion (poor bite). Growth modification is only possible when bones are still growing. It is most effective during children’s growth spurts. 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.

Early diagnosis by Drs. Moshiri can guide facial growth, help tooth eruption, and therefore, prevent more serious problems from occurring at a later age. Certain bite problems are skeletal, not dental, in nature. If this is the case, orthopedics (via retainers, not braces) are used at a young age when a child is rapidly growing to address these issues.

The following are indications that an orthodontic problem may be present in children, indicating possible need for interceptive early orthodontic treatment for children:

• Thumb and finger sucking
• Overlapped and crowded teeth
• Crossbites
• Underbites
• Protrusion of upper front teeth
• Mouth breathing and snoring

The advantage and direct results of interceptive early orthodontic treatment for children are:
• Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
• Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
• Reducing the risk of trauma by attempting to perform skeletal correction at too late of an age (ie gum recession)
• Preserving space for unerupted teeth
• Reducing the risk of trauma from teeth that protrude excessively
• Reducing treatment time with braces

These are just a few of the early indications that orthodontic problems may exist within children.

In this video by Dr Maz Moshiri, common orthodontic problems in children are addressed.

Please review the links at the bottom of this page and review the information and videos from Moshiri Orthodontics for correction of more specific orthodontic problems:

Space/Arch Development– i.e.: crossbite and crowding intervention.
Short Lower Jaw (Class II) Correction – i.e.: a short lower jaw.
• Long Lower Jaw (Class III) Correction – i.e.: a long lower jaw or short upper jaw.

Moshiri Orthodontics
777 S. New Ballas Rd., Suite 116E
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: 314-427-2237