Ideally, an orthodontist should see your child by the time they reach 7 years old. While your child may not require braces at this young age, the American Association of Orthodontists makes this recommendation based on the development of the teeth and jaw.

Sometimes, children may need treatment early to help guide their jaws into the correct positions. Through this early treatment, called Phase 1, we can ensure your child’s jaws are developing properly to reduce the amount of treatment needed as they age.

What happens at the first visit?

During the complimentary new patient exam, we take x-rays and photographs to evaluate how your child’s permanent teeth are erupting. This helps us decide if your child is at risk of developing protruding teeth or possibly require surgeries later on.

Another reason to see an orthodontist early is that many children develop oral habits that can affect their teeth and gums. For example, children who chew on toys or suck their thumbs may cause their teeth to push forward before their adult teeth have erupted. This visit allows us to address any common problems that may occur and, ideally stop them before they even start.

During your child’s first visit, we will also check your child’s breathing. By doing this, we can identify and treat potentially serious conditions such as snoring and sleep apnea.

It’s never too early to introduce your child to their orthodontist. Our goal at Kelley & Gardner Orthodontics is to begin building a relationship with our young patients as soon as we can. We believe that the success of a child’s orthodontic care relies on the bonds we build, and we make it a priority to ensure you and your family are comfortable in our care!