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Early Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment in young children is known as interceptive orthodontics, and it can begin as early as age 6 or 7. At this age, teeth are still developing and the jaw is still growing. That means certain conditions, such as crowding, may be easier to address.

It is important to note that early treatment does not apply to all orthodontic problems; however, it may help in certain cases.


Early intervention takes advantage of the fact that a child's jaw is still growing. Early treatment is useful when the dental arches and jaws are not in the correct position. Functional appliances can fix or improve these problems. More treatment usually is needed later on, but it may be shorter and less involved. Overall early orthodontic treatment may:

  • Guide jaw growth

  • Lower the risk of trauma to the protruded front teeth

  • Correct harmful habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip wedging

  • Improve appearance and self–esteem

  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

  • Improve the way lips meet

Kids braces have improved a lot in the past couple of decades. Technology has made them more comfortable and more attractive than the braces most parents remember wearing.

The patient would benefit from early treatment if any of the following are present:

  • Early or late loss of permanent teeth

  • Difficulty in chewing

  • Breathing through the mouth

  • Thumb sucking

  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked–out teeth

  • Jaws that are that are too far forward of back

  • Biting the cheeks or into the roof of the mouth

  • Front teeth that do not meet, or meet in an abnormal way

  • An unbalance facial appearance

  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth


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