Early Orthodontics Treatment

Early Orthodontic Treatment and Braces for Kids

As recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists, early orthodontic screening should begin around age seven. It’s ideal to assess the current condition of the child’s teeth around age 7, because baby teeth are shedding and permanent teeth are starting to erupt.

Our orthodontists, Dr. Spillers and Dr. Gordon, are highly-trained in early detection of problematic orthodontic conditions. Before all permanent teeth have erupted, our experienced orthodontists are able to identify bite conditions and tooth alignments that are likely to pose a greater problem in the future. Our orthodontists will use this information as a baseline to compare the child’s growth going forward.

Signs that Your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment

There are a few signs that your child may need early orthodontic treatment before his or her first exam. Signs and symptoms include:

Dr. Gordon holding a mold of teeth

What is the best age for early orthodontic treatment?

It’s advised that you bring your child in around age 7 for a free orthodontic exam to determine if he or she is in need of early orthodontic treatment. While permanent teeth are making their way in, it’s ideal for us to intervene and prevent any unhealthy conditions before they create a problem with the normal growth pattern.

We will never recommend unnecessary treatment. We want what’s best for your child’s smile. 

Not every child will be a candidate for two-phase orthodontic treatment at the age of seven, so it’s important for us to assess your child’s condition to determine the best time and method of treatment if treatment is necessary.

What is two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment serves to shift the teeth into alignment, but also to guide jaw and facial growth to create a balanced and healthy appearance. While the jaw bones are still growing, it’s the optimal time to support them in developing properly for functionality and aesthetic purposes. 


During phase one of two-phase orthodontic treatment, appliances like palatal expanders are often used to widen the palate of the mouth and make room for all permanent teeth to fit without crowding. 

Phase two treatment typically includes full orthodontic treatment, like Invisalign® First clear aligners or a form of braces for kids. Used in tandem, phase one and phase two orthodontic treatment work with the natural growth of the teeth, gums and jaw bones to create beautiful smiles for young patients.

Dr. Spillers continuing education

Can children use Invisalign?

Yes! Invisalign First is an excellent orthodontic treatment option for kids. A part of phase one treatment, Invisalign First is a form of clear braces for kids, and is typically used for younger patients around ages 6 to 10. 

These specialized clear aligners are designed for a mixed dentition, or a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth. Invisalign First is effective for widening the palate to allow enough room for permanent teeth to develop, as well as treating crowding and spacing conditions.

Invisalign First technology is an ideal option in kids’ braces, because it’s comfortable, clear and removable!

The Importance of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment involves the correction of preliminary jaw and bite problems. Early intervention allows us to monitor the skeletal development of the mouth and create enough room for permanent teeth to grow.

Through early detection and treatment, we can identify and prevent unhealthy orthodontic conditions before they occur. Early orthodontic treatment enables us to make room for permanent teeth to emerge and guide them into a healthy alignment.

If problematic orthodontic conditions go undetected and untreated, it’s possible that they’ll progress and require a more severe treatment, such as jaw surgery, in the near future.

When it comes to early orthodontic treatment pros and cons, the pros far outweigh the cons. The pros of early orthodontic treatment can last a lifetime!

Early treatment can either eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment later in life, or reduce the complexity of treatment. Undergoing orthodontic treatment before adult teeth have fully emerged also makes it easier to prevent facial asymmetries and deformities that can become permanent if left untreated. 

While your child is undergoing early treatment, you will need to ensure that he or she commits to diligent oral health. Plaque and bacteria can build up quickly between braces’ brackets, wires, aligners and individual teeth, so it’s critical that your child brushes no less than twice a day and flosses at least once a day. 

Early orthodontic treatment can lead to a lifetime of confidence! While some problematic orthodontic conditions may be obvious, many conditions require an assessment from an experienced orthodontist.

Still have questions about early orthodontic treatment or braces for kids?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at either of our locations in Macon or Warner Robins. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a free orthodontic exam for you or your child today!