When Your Child Should See an Orthodontist

Get a Head Start on Oral Health with Early Evaluations for Your Child

Why Age 7?

There’s no minimum age for your child to begin orthodontic treatment, but the doctors at Zaytoun Orthodontics and the American Association of Orthodontists recommend that every child in Raleigh, Cary, and Garner should receive their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven. By 7 years old, your child’s teeth have developed enough for subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth to be spotted while some baby teeth are still present. 

About 20% of children ages 7-10 that we see at Zaytoun Orthodontics need early treatment for major issues involving the bite, adult teeth that are not erupting correctly, jaw growth issues, or overcrowding.

It is our philosophy that we only recommend early treatment if it prevents more serious issues from developing down the road. Early treatment is meant to resolve problems before they cause more major issues and will typically shorten the second phase of treatment once all their adult teeth are in.

Why Choose the Zaytoun Kids Club Observation Program

Many children won’t need active treatment until most of their adult teeth have come in, but even if your child doesn’t need to start early, our Kids Club program ensures that he or she begins treatment at the perfect time, with the perfect plan. After all, we want our patients to complete their journey through orthodontic care as early and comfortably as possible. And our Kids Club program achieves this with efficiency and fun!

As a member of our Kids Club, we look forward to checking up on your child every 6 months. This observation program is important because we will monitor your child’s dental development and track the eruption of the adult teeth. Keeping a close eye on developing teeth helps us prevent impacted teeth in the future with early, interventional treatment. We call it Phase 1.

When Phase 1 is needed, we work alongside your child’s growth patterns to create a wider arch as efficiently as possible. This typically occurs between ages 7 and 12 and will help to guide jaw growth and prevent possible damage of the teeth, gums, and jaw structure.

We understand that an early phase can be an unexpected experience for younger children, so we explain each and every step along the way and answer any questions you or they may have.

At each visit, your child will get to take a dive in our treasure chest and participate in other fun events and giveaways. We also take this time to get to know our patients—we love hearing the latest and greatest news in your lives! And we hope you look forward to your visits too. There is no *scary* during these appointments either. What exactly can you expect at these visits? Our doctors will take a look at your child’s teeth. Occasionally (no more frequently than annually) we will take an X-ray to check on developing adult teeth. Our doctors will explain exactly what they see and what the prognosis is for your child’s dental growth and development. Our ultimate goal is to help you celebrate your child’s future smile, and make the journey there as efficient, comfortable, and fast as possible.

What is Early Treatment?

Also known as Phase 1 treatment, early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.

In some cases, the doctors at Zaytoun Orthodontics will be able to achieve results in early treatment that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Advantages of Early Treatment

  • Create facial symmetry by guiding jaw growth
  • Reduce the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Reduce the need for tooth removal
  • Reduce treatment time with braces
  • Preserve space for unerupted teeth
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

How to Choose the Perfect Time for Treatment

While the age that kids get braces may vary, orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 8 and 14. Some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are treated early. 

If our Zaytoun doctors think your child will need treatment, we will also let you know when it will be best to begin treatment. 

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at any of our locations in Cary, Garner, or Raleigh. We will always take the time to explain your treatment to you, throughout every phase. 

Request your complimentary exam today!