Years ago, it was common to wait to receive any orthodontic treatment until all of the baby teeth were out of the mouth and the adult teeth had grown in. Now, it is common for a child’s teeth and jaw to be evaluated while the baby teeth remain. Intervention at this stage can modify the way teeth grow, which in turn can reduce the length of time that braces may be needed in the future. The jaw is corrected when a child is young, and the permanent teeth grow in straighter when they become older.
As orthodontists, we are mainly concerned with tooth irregularities and bite. Many parents mistakenly think that they should wait until all of their child’s permanent teeth are in to see an orthodontist for the first time. However, waiting too long to see an orthodontist for the first time can be harmful to a child’s oral health development.