Orthodontics for Children

Conditions for Early Treatment


When an upper tooth bites inside or behind a lower tooth

Narrow Jaw

Narrow upper jaw requiring expansion

Protruding Teeth

Increased trauma risk to the front teeth

Baby Teeth

Baby teeth that won’t fall out on their own

Missing Teeth

Missing baby or permanent teeth


Thumbsucking and habit cessation

There is no perfect age to begin orthodontic treatment, but it is recommended that children visit an orthodontist for the first time around the age of seven. The American Association of Orthodontists believes this is the ideal age for several reasons. First, children will have a mix of baby and permanent teeth at this time, which gives orthodontists an idea of how the adult smile is taking shape. But it also allows the orthodontist the opportunity to check the growth of the jaw, and take any interventions necessary to ensure a proper bite.


Visiting an orthodontist at the age of seven does not mean your child will require treatment at this age. It does, however, allow an orthodontist to monitor the growth of your child and recommend treatment at a time that will have the most positive impact. If recommended, early orthodontic treatment allows us to:

  • Guide and correct jaw growth, which can help ensure permanent teeth erupt properly and prevent the need for future jaw surgery
  • Regulate the width of the arches, creating proper space for crowded or misaligned teeth
  • Avoid the need for tooth extractions later
  • Prevent impacted teeth which require more invasive treatment later
  • Correct oral habits, such as thumb sucking
  • Improve minor speech issues and/or address tongue ties
  • Improve airway and breathing


As a parent, it can be difficult to know if your child could benefit from early orthodontic treatment, or if their issue will correct itself as the child grows. There are some signs that you can look for, however, including:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting into food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking, or pacifier use
  • Crowded or misaligned teeth, or teeth that are blocked
  • Jaw that pops or makes sounds
  • Teeth that fit together abnormally or that don’t fit together at all
  • Jaw and teeth are disproportionate to the rest of the face
  • Severe crowding of teeth at the age of seven or eight

The specialists at Rochester Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics are here to help. Schedule your child’s complimentary consultation today.