Orthodontics for Children

Orthodontic evaluation and treatment at an early age can be helpful for your children to get off on the right foot with their life-long oral health.


If your child needs orthodontic treatment, we want to put your concerns to rest!

At what age should children visit the orthodontist for the first time?

Many orthodontic problems can be corrected more easily if they are detected at an early age than if treated later in life.

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should visit an orthodontist for the first time around the age 7.

Although some children may not require treatment until they are older (between the ages of 11 and 13), the first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in around age 7 at which point, crossbites, crowding and other problems can be identified.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child still has some baby teeth?

It certainly can. Sometimes, orthodontic issues can be significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will monitor the growth and development of their jaw until the time is right for treatment to begin.

What does Phase I Treatment involve?

Phase I (or early interceptive), treatment is limited orthodontic treatment (e.g., expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted.

Phase I treatment typically occurs between the ages of 6 and 10. It is sometimes recommended in order to make room in the mouth for developing teeth, and to correct crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits.

Living with Braces - Children - WatermelonWill my child still need to wear full braces if he/she has had Phase I Treatment?

Phase I Treatment is typically done in anticipation of future treatment, so it is quite likely that your child will eventually need full braces.

Early treatment can help regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, help avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, and help to correct thumb-sucking and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.

Essentially, Phase I treatment will help set the stage for quicker and more effective Phase II treatment.

Living with Braces - Children / Kids Orthodontics

What problems can arise at an early age?

There are many reasons a child may need orthodontic treatment at a young age.

Early Phase I treatment may reduce or prevent the need for more invasive treatment later, because when treatment is initiated at an early age, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and the incoming permanent teeth.

Any of the following issues may be treated with orthodontics:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Trouble with chewing and breathing
  • Late or early loss of baby teeth
  • Teeth that are crowded, loose, or impacted
  • Upper and lower teeth that do not meet correctly
  • Improper jaw alignment
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Crossbites

Book your first orthodontic consultation today at myOrthodontist Maple Ridge.