Happy smiling kid patient at dental clinic

When will my child benefit from early orthodontic treatment? 

Are you interested in finding out if your child needs early intervention in orthodontics? When is the earliest age for a child to get braces? What can be done about anterior open bites and crossbites? At SV Orthodontics, we can answer many of these questions regarding early orthodontic intervention.

Early treatment (7-11 Years)

Early treatment refers to treatment that is necessary during the mixed dentition phase. Mixed dentition refers to a stage in dental development when a combination of adult/permanent and baby/primary teeth are present. Most early treatments occur in patients between 7-11 years.

Early treatment almost always necessitates a second phase of treatment later when the permanent dentition is complete. For this reason, our philosophy is to recommend early treatment only when it will significantly benefit select cases. Otherwise, we focus on making future treatment easier, better, and more stable.

The following includes a short list of our indications for early intervention:

  • Anterior crossbites (single or multiple teeth). This issue involves one or more lower front teeth biting in front of or ahead of an upper front tooth or teeth.
  • Skeletal constriction of the upper arch with unilateral or bilateral posterior crossbite relationships. In this instance, the upper jaw is narrower than its lower counterpart, and the upper back teeth fit inside the lower back teeth on one or both sides.
  • Anterior open bite indicates an opening between the upper and lower front teeth when the back teeth are in contact. This issue often occurs due to a thumb/finger-sucking habit or a forward tongue posturing habit when swallowing. This is one of the most complex bite issues for orthodontists to fix. The sooner it is addressed the better, as the continuation of these habits can adversely affect facial growth and can necessitate a combination of orthodontics and jaw surgery later.
  • Severely protrusive or irregular upper front teeth, which are at greater risk of trauma or are psychosocial issues of concern. Treatment is particularly important for protrusive or “buck” teeth if your child is active or accident-prone, or if they are self-conscious about their smile. 
  • Excessive dental overjet. Overjet refers to the distance of the upper front teeth relative to the lower front teeth. Overjets of 6mm or more indicate a skeletal discrepancy between the growth of the upper and lower jaws, i.e. the lower jaw is short/recessive relative to the upper. While oftentimes an excessive overjet will be treated when the adult teeth have or are close to fully erupting, we like to monitor the growth of the patient to determine the optimal timing of treatment.
  • Resolution of select cases of serious crowding with serial extractions. Sometimes, it is beneficial to remove a series of baby teeth and then adult teeth at controlled times to assist mother nature in correcting the case on its own, limiting the amount of treatment needed later.

To learn more about your child’s teeth, visit our team at SV Orthodontics!

Our SV Orthodontics team, located in midtown Toronto, is here to help your child achieve beautiful, fully-functioning smiles that are healthy and esthetic. If you or your child have been told they could benefit from orthodontic treatment, we welcome you to our office for a complimentary in-office examination and consultation to find out if any early orthodontic treatment is needed for your child. Book online or call (416) 213-6646 to request a visit to our office at 3016 Yonge Street. We proudly serve patients in Teddington Park, Lawrence Manor, Sunnybrook Park, ON.