When to Start Treatment

"I will prevent disease whenever I can for prevention is preferable to cure!" -Hippocrates 400 BC

The American and Canadian Associations of Orthodontists suggest an orthodontic checkup by age 7. Although only a few orthodontic problems need to be corrected at that age, an early exam allows the orthodontist to offer advice and guidance as to when the appropriate age to start treatment. Let the orthodontist guide you as to when to start treatment. Feel free to ask questions about the timing of treatment.

Orthodontic treatment can be started on certain types of tooth problems before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Early treatment, usually begun after the four permanent upper and lower front teeth have erupted (ages 7-9), is recommended when any of the problems illustrated on this page are apparent.

For those patients who have indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:

  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner
  • Harmonize the width of the dental arches
  • Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve esthetics and self-esteem
  • Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics
  • Preserve gain space for erupting permanent teeth
  • Reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth

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