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Treatments for Children and Adolescents

Dr. Meridith Long holding a portrait of a girl with braces

An orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, but there is often an optimal time to begin treatment. By starting treatment at the appropriate time, we ensure the best overall result with the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems - usually around age 7. This does NOT mean that orthodontic treatment will be necessary this young! Early examination, however, allows us to anticipate any developing problems and then plan the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

Some of the most common goals for early treatment include the following

  • Creating space for crowded, erupting teeth

  • Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth

  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth

  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth

  • Preventing the future removal of permanent teeth

  • Reducing the amount of time needed wearing full braces or aligners

  • Stopping a finger or thumb habit

Of course not all children will have a need for early treatment. For many, the optimal time to start orthodontics will be when all or almost all of the permanent teeth have erupted.

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