What is early orthodontic treatment and why my child might need early treatment?

Young woman smiling showing white teeth

“Early” treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, means treatment that is performed while some baby teeth are still present. Early orthodontic treatment is a great way to spot any problems within your child's developing mouth and treat them before they turn into life long problems. Sometimes catching orthodontic problems early can save your child from potential jaw surgery in the future.

At Seton Smiles, our dentists implement many progressive treatments for patients as early as age five which provide significant benefits, especially when jaw irregularities are present. Early diagnosis and treatment can help guide facial growth and tooth eruption, preventing irregularities from worsening.

Free Consultation
Direct Billing to Insurance
Affordable Payment Plans
Child-Friendly Office
Orthodontic Specialists

Early treatment (also known as Phase One) typically begins around age seven or eight (Phase Two usually begins around age 12 or older).

The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.

Affordable Payment Plans Available

Get closer to a healthy and beautiful smile with our affordable payment plans and direct billing to insurance.

Learn More

Some common signs & symptoms in children that might require orthodontic intervention include:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
  • Mouth breathing
  • Your child continues sucking his or her thumb after age five
  • Your child has chewing or biting difficulty
  • Speech impediments
  • Your child displays clicking or shifting in the jaw
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when the child opens or closes the mouth (crossbites)

There are different types of options available in early orthodontic treatment, depending on the specific issue your child has. Some of the most common types of treatment include wearing a palatal expander, partial braces and a retainer. The treatments are focused on addressing jaw skeletal issues and alignment before or soon after permanent teeth emerge.

Make your dream smile a reality!

Your first consultation with us is completely free of charge and comes with no obligation. Don't have a referral from a dentist? No problem! We welcome new patients and will make you feel at home right away.

Book Appointment Contact Us