When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

A young person and their father smiling, When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

Share This Post

Do you know when your child should see an orthodontist and when is the right time to take them? Some signs and indicators can help you gauge whether it’s time for a visit—including crooked teeth, early or late tooth loss and difficulty chewing. Knowing this information will help ensure your child gets the best orthodontic care possible when needed.

Understand the Benefits of Orthodontic Care

Orthodontic care has many health benefits besides giving your child a beautiful smile. Having braces or other orthodontic devices can help children have better overall dental health by correcting the positioning of their jaws and teeth and preventing them from developing severe issues later on. Orthodontic corrections may also reduce headaches, earaches, jaw pain, and other problems from improper teeth alignment.

How to Determine When Your Child Should See an Orthodontist

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children be seen no later than age 7 – or earlier if there are signs of potential problems. Signs that may indicate a need for intervention can include:

  • Crowding of teeth
  • Difficulties with chewing or biting
  • Thumb or finger sucking after age 5
  • Speech impediments due to misaligned teeth or protruding front teeth.

What to Expect During the Initial Evaluation and Treatment Plan

Dr. Erikson will take a complete medical and dental history during the initial visit. We may take X-Rays, models, and photographs for further observation. Based on this information, he will create a personalized treatment plan that meets your child’s needs. During the evaluation, patients and parents should be sure to ask questions so they can make informed decisions about treatment options and desired outcomes.

Complementary Kids Club

A picture containing two people smiling with braces

One unique thing we offer here at Orthodontic Specialists in St. George is our Kid’s Club program. Our free program is available to all families with kids getting ready for braces. This program allows us to meet, x-ray, and monitor a child as their mouth grows. With this information, we can evaluate the best time to begin braces.

Dr. Erickson likes to start seeing children at 7 or 8, just before many need to start treatment. The first consultation helps us gauge when treatment might need to begin.

The Growth Check Visit

After the initial visit, we schedule the Growth Check Visit. The Growth Check is about 30 minutes long and will be about six months to one year after their initial exam.

At the Growth Check appointment, we will take another X-ray and intro oral photos to compare what has changed since their initial visit. After we take the images, Dr. Erickson will then come in and talk about what the best course of action is at that time.

For many children, it is “let you be a kid and do some growing” and see you again in 6 months to 1 year. For others, it is an excellent time to start. If it is time to start the braces process, we will schedule that patient for a 3D scan of their teeth, and then one week after the scan, we will prepare them to have the braces put on.

And that is our Kids Club Program.

Final Words

It is essential to get a young child off to a good start with healthy, straight teeth so they can grow with a confident smile and not suffer from health issues due to orthodontic problems. Catching problems early is vital to accomplishing this goal, a goal we know all parents want too. So, let’s work together and put kids on the road to happy, healthy smiles. Contact us for any questions or to schedule a consultation.


Your Friendly Team at
Ortho-Specialists of
St. George, Utah

More To Explore

A group of people sitting on a couch watching a sporting event on TV, Braces-Friendly Superbowl Snacks

Braces-Friendly Superbowl Snacks

Hosting a party or just watching the game with your family? Celebrate the big game in style by making up one of these delicious and