Early Orthodontic Treatment & Braces for Kids

We help you make the best decision for your child’s smile, health, and quality of life. 

Drs. Ryan and Charles Wait have years of experience caring for young children in early orthodontic treatment

When is the best age to get braces?

The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) recommends that children first see an orthodontist as early as age seven. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results that can benefit your child for the rest of their life.

This doesn’t mean that orthodontic treatment will begin around age 7. We only suggest the right treatment at the right time for each patient who visits us in Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, AZ.

The Goal of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment isn’t just about ‘straightening teeth’, it’s about establishing a healthy foundation to support a beautiful set of permanent teeth, and setting the stage for a lifetime of confidence! 

The goal of early treatment is to develop the jaws to allow the most ideal dental development. By supporting proper growth of the jaw and correcting certain bite concerns (such as an underbite, crossbite or crowding) early on, we can eliminate the need for more complex, lengthy forms of treatment (such as jaw surgery) in the future.

How do I know if my child needs treatment?

Here are some common signs and symptoms that indicate a need for early orthodontic treatment or braces for kids:

Beginning necessary orthodontic treatment at an early age can improve functions, like breathing and chewing – and help your child develop a strong self esteem. 

An early assessment of your child’s growth will give you the peace of mind that your child is thriving. Our highly experienced team will provide you and your child with a fun and informative initial exam, and we’ll discuss the best steps to take to support your child in developing a beautiful smile!

Two-Phase Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment is best separated into two phases, designed to work alongside the natural development of the teeth and jaw bones.

  • What is Phase 1 treatment?
  • What is Phase 2 treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is typically completed between the ages of 7 and 10. The purpose of this treatment is to prepare the mouth for permanent teeth to emerge in a healthy alignment with a sufficient amount of space.

During this phase, your child may be treated with a palatal expander appliance to widen the upper jaw and create enough room for permanent teeth to grow. Phase 1 orthodontic treatment focuses on ensuring healthy jaw bone development to establish a strong foundation for the permanent teeth to be aligned in Phase 2.

This phase generally begins in the early teen years, when all of the permanent teeth have erupted. 

The focus of Phase 2 treatment is to align the teeth and jaws to create a harmonious facial appearance. During this phase, a full treatment of braces is often completed. Both the top and bottom teeth are typically treated in Phase 2.

Every child develops at a different rate, so early orthodontic treatment for your child  may be optimal at an earlier or later stage than average. At your complimentary consultation, we’ll help you determine the right path for your child.

Still have questions about braces for kids?

We are a family orthodontist here to answer your questions and discuss your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. 

Drs. Ryan and Charles Wait and our experienced team are here to guide you, so you can experience a positive treatment process while achieving the perfect smile.

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation at one of our convenient locations in Scottsdale or Fountain Hills, Arizona, today!