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The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children visit the orthodontist by age 7.

This is because around the age of 7, the first adult molars have erupted. These teeth define a child’s back bite, allowing for more accurate evaluation. In some cases, an orthodontic consultation may be needed even earlier if a child’s dentist has concerns.

Treatment at an early age may not be necessary, but with orthodontic monitoring, we can plan the ideal timeline for effective treatment and prevent serious problems from occurring. Our orthodontic monitoring appointments are scheduled every 6 to 12 months and are provided free of charge.

Results of effective early orthodontic treatment include:

  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Preventing erupting teeth from becoming crowded
  • Reducing the risk of injury to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for permanent teeth to erupt
  • Reducing future orthodontic treatment time

Invisalign® First Treatment

At Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics, we are pleased to offer the new Invisalign® First clear aligners to treat younger patients more comfortably and conveniently than many of the traditional methods used during Phase 1 Treatment.

Invisalign® First’s design features are specifically created for younger patients with early mixed dentition, addressing a broad range of younger patients’ concerns.

Invisalign® First is the perfect solution for young children-on-the-go. Teeth are gently shifted into place by wearing each set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, brush, and floss. Being able to remove the aligners allows children to enjoy life without restriction or inconvenience. The best part is that Invisalign® First aligners are virtually invisible—so no one will ever know!

Learn More about Invisalign®

Frequently Asked Questions About Early Orthodontic Treatment

Is early orthodontic treatment necessary?

If early orthodontic treatment is recommended for your child, it means that by starting treatment early, we can influence the shape of the jaw or take other actions in order to prevent future orthodontic problems. If you choose not to pursue this treatment, your child will likely need braces for a longer amount of time in their preteen or teen years. It’s also important to note that early orthodontic treatment is much more effective than correcting issues with the jaw after it is fully formed.

What is the best age for orthodontic treatment?

The general consensus among dentists and orthodontists is that children should start regular orthodontic visits around the age of 7, but if your child’s dentist notices unusual growth patterns or issues with dentition, they may request that you bring them in for an evaluation even earlier than this. In other words, the best age for orthodontic treatment is whenever your child needs it!

Do palate expanders help breathing?

One of the lesser known benefits of early orthodontic treatment is that it can have a positive impact on your child’s airway, alleviating breathing problems by repositioning or reshaping the jaw. Palate expanders are one way we accomplish this.

What is preventive orthodontics?

Preventive orthodontics is another term used for early orthodontic treatment. You may also see it referred to as interceptive orthodontics or phase one orthodontics.

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