Few people would wait for flames to go through the roof before calling the fire department. However, many parents do not bring their children for orthodontic treatment until all the teeth are in the mouth in adolescence, which is often too late for us to conservatively provide the most optimal result. We strongly encourage a first visit at the first sign of any problem, even before all the baby teeth have erupted!
We can easily spot signs of poor oral posture in infants and toddlers. Such poor oral posture will negatively affect the growth of the face, even before all the baby teeth (much less the permanent ones) are in the mouth. Children as young as 3 years old should be seen if they are mouth-breathers, but actual treatment often begins in the 6-10-year age group if there is crowding or less-than-ideal facial balance. If the child is not a mouth-breather and has proper dentofacial development, we will wait for all 28 permanent teeth (all but the wisdom teeth) to be in the mouth before orthodontics. This minimizes the time children are in braces.
If there is any question as to the need, please see the Interactive FINDER. If it is increased by 5 mm or more from the ideal, a consultation is strongly recommended. We would much prefer seeing a child early – before it is the appropriate time for treatment – than having to tell a parent it is too late for ideal treatment.