Treatment Timing

At what age should your child be seen?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the 1st exam at one year of age. Establishing a "Dental Home" means your child's oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, continually accessible, coordinated family centered approach.

Dr. Thomas Kiebach: Recent studies have shown that some orthodontic problems are best resolved age appropriately at 4, 5, and 6 years old. Untreated malocclusions (bad bites) worsen with age and the craniofacial complex is more adaptable at a younger age allowing faster and better results.

  • Posterior Cross-bite (4 years old)
  • Under-bites, Class III (4 years old)

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends scheduling initial orthodontic evaluation at seven years of age.

Common Problems in 7 9 Year Olds

  • Over-bites, protruding front teeth (lower jaw is behind upper jaw)
  • Under-bites, lower jaw is in front of upper jaw
  • Open-bites, the anterior teeth fail to meet
  • Cross-bites, the upper teeth are inside the lower teeth
  • These problems also include: thumb & finger sucking habits, abnormal swallowing, mouth breathing, and excessive tooth crowding.
  • This age (growth potential) emphasizes correction of severe skeletal problems which will be staged with later treatment to correct tooth problems.

Adolescent Treatment

  • This stage of development is best for treating orthodontic patients and represents the majority of patients treated in the US
  • These patients are growing (pubescent growth) providing excellent time for the correction of most mild dental skeletal problems. Girls 10 13 years old and boy 10 15 years old.
  • Chronologic ages (birthday), physiologic ages and dental ages may vary in individual patients. Delayed and accelerated, stop start growth varies from patient to patient. Bad bites get worse with growth.
  • 85% of most children can be treated without taking out permanent teeth if treated before the loss of the 2nd primary molar (last baby tooth) in the Maxilla and Mandible by utilizing the Leeway Space. 4 baby teeth are still in the mouth when the braces are installed.