When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist

Your child’s smile is one of the things you love most about them. As your child grows older, their smile will grow and change right along with them. To keep their smile healthy and happy, it’s good to seek orthodontic care early. Here at Smiles of Palmetto Bay, we want to help keep your child’s oral health in pristine condition. Let’s take a look at early childhood orthodontic evaluations, and why it’s important to start early in your child’s smile journey.

The Benefits of Early Childhood Evaluations 

Addressing problems early can help prevent them from getting worse over time. As one of the most common procedures that both young people and adults experience, getting started with orthodontic treatment at an early age is advantageous for many reasons. Let’s examine why these early evaluations matter.

Early Exposure

There are many benefits to bringing children to the orthodontist’s office from a young age. Introducing a seven-year-old to an orthodontist can help ease the stress and anxiety that often surrounds orthodontic treatment for older patients. The earlier they get used to visiting the office, the earlier they’ll become accustomed to it, which can also extend to visits to other kinds of medical offices.

Preventative Treatment

Treating orthodontic issues early in a child’s life can help avoid more complex and severe oral health problems in the future. This is because a seven-year-old’s jaw is still developing, so there is far more room to redirect growth on the front end than to correct it on the back end when the child’s jaw structure has already become permanent. 

By detecting subtle changes in your child’s jaw structure and tracking them over time, our orthodontists have a better chance of preventing any misalignments. Early screenings can work to prevent the need for oral surgery, as well as direct jaw growth, lower the risk of injury to protruding or intruding teeth, and improve the appearance of your child’s teeth overall. On top of that, there are specific dental issues that an orthodontist can detect at an early age. By having an orthodontist track your child’s teeth before they’ve lost all of their baby teeth, future conditions can be predicted, addressed, and prepared for.


A big deterrent to those considering seeing an orthodontist is that braces are an expensive form of treatment. However, early treatment starting at age seven can prevent, and sometimes even eliminate, the need for expensive treatments methods.  Early intervention allows orthodontists to track the growth of a child’s jaw alignment as it develops, and so our team will be able to guide growth in a direction that naturally addresses potential problems down the line. Early intervention also allows orthodontists to preview more serious dental issues that may arise later in a child’s life and eliminate the need for expensive surgeries.

Better Results Overall 

When you take away the anxiety, preventable treatments, and expenses that come with major dental problems, the results achieved through early intervention are much better and more satisfying for patients overall. You’ll have a better idea of when your child will need braces later on, and you’ll have already addressed a range of potential dental problems from the start of their orthodontic journey. The thorough nature of early, long-term tracking means that your child’s smile will be more aligned and stay straight longer than patients who started treatment when they’re older. In short, starting on the right foot of orthodontics sets your child up for orthodontic success in the future. 

Consult an Orthodontist at Any Age

Although the typical age for a first orthodontic visit is seven years old, it’s important to make an appointment for your child any time you notice any problems. If your child’s teeth appear excessively crowded or if they are having difficulty chewing, it may be time for another trip to the orthodontist’s office.

When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist

What does early treatment consist of? 

Early treatment can prevent more severe orthodontic problems from developing as your child gets older. It can also ensure that any treatment your child receives when they’re older is less complicated and takes less time. In some cases, our doctors will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Our experts have the education and experience to choose the best time for your child’s treatment. Children receive braces at different times, but most orthodontic treatment typically begins between nine to fourteen years old. Starting treatment at the most appropriate time will give us the best chance to: 

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve your child’s appearance and increase their self-confidence
  • Guide the permanent teeth into a more favorable position

How do I know my child needs early treatment?

Sometimes, it’s not easy to tell when your child may need braces while they are very young. However, there are some issues to look out for that may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. These issues can include: 

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet (or meet in an abnormal way)
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist

Your best smile is waiting for you at Smiles of Palmetto Bay

Your child’s smile is special, and they deserve the right team of doctors to keep it in pristine shape. Dr. Martinez and Dr. Ross are experienced orthodontists, both skilled in providing high-quality care to patients of all ages in Palmetto Bay and the surrounding communities. Our team offers personalized care from our state-of-the-art office, using advanced technology to give patients exceptional results! If you’re looking for the best in orthodontic care in the area, look no further—Smiles of Palmetto Bay is ready to help you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation!