When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist

Here at Brady Orthodontics, we know your child’s smile is one of the things you love most about them. As your child gets older, their smile will grow and change just as much as they do. And to keep their smile in pristine shape, it’s good to seek orthodontic care early. 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 

Catching problems early is a great way to prevent them from getting worse over time. As a common procedure that both young people and adults experience, getting started with orthodontic treatment at an early age is essential for many reasons. Let’s take a look at 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 larger, more complex dental 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 jaw structure and tracking them from age seven and onward, your child’s orthodontist has 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 accounted for. 


Braces can be an expensive form of treatment, a fact that can be a deterrent to those considering seeing an orthodontist. 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 strip 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 off 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 time for a first 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

What does early treatment consist of? 

Early treatment can help prevent more serious orthodontic problems from developing over time. It can also ensure that any treatment your child receives when they’re older is shorter and less complicated. Our team will even be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

The experts at our office have the education, skills, and experience to choose the best time for your child’s treatment. Children receive braces at different times, but orthodontic treatment most 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?

It can be hard to tell when your child will need braces or has an orthodontic problem while they are very young. However, there are some issues to look out for that may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. These 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

Give your smile the best at Brady Orthodontics

When it comes to expert orthodontic treatment in a warm and professional environment, you can’t do better than Brady Orthodontics in Winnetka. Dr. Brady will create a personalized treatment plan and provide unmatched care from your first appointment to last. Since orthodontics is his primary and only specialty, Dr. Brady and his expert team have the experience necessary to give your child the best in treatment, costs, and efficiency!

There’s never been a better time to help your child achieve the perfect smile, and we are ready to help you get the results they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation here at Brady Orthodontics. There is no pressure or obligation to enter a treatment plan but great individualized information to help you decide what is right for your smile.