When is the best age to begin orthodontic treatment?

kids braces
Though an orthodontist can begin treatment at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment during this period ensures the best result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

Why don’t I just wait to see the Orthodontist when my child has all of their adult teeth?

Most children do not need Early Treatment; however, some children can benefit from it. Early evaluation can be instrumental in detecting problems in a timely manner so that small issues do not become BIG issues. Early intervention guides growth and development of jaws and teeth, preventing serious problems later. When treatment is not necessary, an orthodontist can monitor growth and development so that treatment can be administered if/when the timing is ideal.

Why is age Seven considered the best time for initial screening?

At the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, crowding, open bite, or gummy smiles. Timely screening can often lead to more predictable results and smoother treatment

What are malocclusions?

A malocclusion is a misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaws close. Malocclusions are simply “bad bites” like over-bite, underbite, openbite, crossbite, and deepbite.

Malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:

  • Crossbites can result in asymmetrical growth and excessive tooth wear
  • Openbites can result in speech impediments and tongue-thrusting habits
  • Protruding teeth are very susceptible to accidental chipping and damage
  • Crowded teeth are difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease

Interceptive treatment for malocclusions

Interceptive orthodontic treatment is the early diagnosis and treatment of developmental malocclusions as soon they are detected.

Reasons for interceptive treatment include:

  • Creating room for erupting or crowded teeth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Reducing the overall treatment time required for braces
  • Creation of facial symmetry through the influence of jaw growth
  • Reducing the need for removing teeth
  • Preserving spacing for unerupted teeth

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Meet Our Orthodontists

Dr. David O. Mansour, DMD

Dr. David Mansour was raised in Orlando, Florida, where he attended Bishop Moore High School. After high school, he attended University of Florida for his undergraduate studies, where he received his degree in Microbiology and Cell Science. He later received his dental degree from the University of Florida, where he graduated near the top of his class with several honors, including being named a Florida Dental Health Foundation scholar, and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, an exclusive national dental honor society. Dr. Mansour developed a passion for the field of orthodontics while in dental school and went on to complete three years of specialty training in orthodontics at the University of Florida. Dr Mansour enjoys spending his time with his wife, Dr. Kelly Mansour (a pediatric dentist), playing golf, basketball, and watching Gator football!

Dr. Craig Lewis, DDS

Dr. Lewis has been in practice since 1977 in Kissimmee, Florida. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida and then went on to the University of Maryland School of Dentistry for his dental degree. His specialty training, which required an additional two years of postgraduate studies in the field of orthodontics, was also at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. His favorite hobbies are golf, fishing, Gator football, and spending time with his wife, two children, and grandchildren.