Early Orthodontic Treatment for Kids – What is it?

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Dr. Chris Stansbury of Wired Orthodontics explains when children can benefit from early interventive orthodontic treatment.


Austin, TX – Did you know that the recommended age for a child to see an orthodontist for the first time is seven? This is important because some orthodontic issues are easier to correct if they are spotted early on. Interceptive orthodontic treatment can help prevent more serious problems in the future by giving the orthodontist control over how and where permanent teeth erupt and helping to guide the growth of the jaw.



“Orthodontists are trained to diagnose bite issues at an early age so that we can help ensure children have the best window for orthodontic treatment,” says Austin Orthodontist, Dr. Stansbury. “By beginning treatment at exactly the right time, we can ensure any future issues will be minimized and make future treatment as efficient and effective as possible.”


As a parent, there are a few things you can be on the lookout for that could indicate if your child might benefit from this interceptive treatment. They include:

  1. Habits, such as thumb or finger sucking, or using a pacifier.
  2. Upper teeth that fit behind the lower teeth.
  3. Upper teeth that protrude too far out.
  4. Crowding that leaves little room for the permanent teeth to erupt.
  5. Mouth breathing, snoring or tooth grinding.


Early interceptive treatment allows orthodontists to use the least invasive methods to expand the jaw and ensure there is adequate space for permanent teeth. Beginning early has the benefit of a jaw that is still growing, but if you wait until the later teenage years, there may need to be more drastic measures taken to correct the bite.


There are many benefits to early treatment for your child, including:

  • Correcting habits that may be damaging the smile and causing developmental issues
  • Correcting bite issues, such as deep bites, cross bites and open bites
  • Guide jaw growth to accommodate emerging permanent teeth
  • Lower the risk of damage to protruding teeth
  • Improved facial aesthetics
  • Alleviate the need for future, invasive treatment


Early interceptive treatment does not mean your child won’t also require braces in the future. This type of treatment is normally done in two phases. The first phase, the interceptive phase, ensures the mouth has adequate space for the permanent teeth. This will be followed by a resting period to allow the permanent teeth to erupt, and then the second phase will involve braces to correct the bite.


“If your child is over the age of seven and hasn’t had an orthodontic consultation yet, schedule one today,” says Dr. Stansbury. “Initial consultations are complimentary, and can ensure your child gets on a path to a straighter, properly functioning smile, without the need for more serious treatment.”

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  1. 1

    So many good tips! We are just starting this process with Gavin and it is so overwhelming!

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