What’s the Best Age to Start Orthodontics?

February 13, 2018
Carly A. Moran, DDS, MS

What's the Best Age to Start Orthodontics?

One of the most common questions we receive is, “What is the best age to go to the orthodontist to straighten your teeth?” And our simple answer to this question: You should seek orthodontic treatment to improve your smile as soon as you have a question about the alignment of your teeth or your bite.

Sometimes, it is extremely obvious, such as when you have trouble biting, speaking or chewing or if your teeth are protruding, crowded or too spaced out. Other times, the misalignment of your teeth may be subtle, including clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth or mouth breathing.


Do you need a dentist or an orthodontist to straighten your teeth?


If you find that you or your child are experiencing any of these issues, then we recommend following these guidelines:

Orthodontics for Kids

The American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven, before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Any treatment needed at this age is referred to as Phase I treatment. We recommend this age for two reasons:
There is a wide disparity in tooth development near the age of seven. This requires an expert to know if your child actually needs orthodontic treatment or if it’s normal developmental growth. An orthodontist can also tell if there is enough room in the mouth to accommodate permanent teeth.
Most conditions are easier to treat the earlier they are caught, when natural growth processes are at their peak. If some of these conditions are left untreated at a young age they may require surgery or permanent tooth extractions later in life.

However, there are some behaviors that may require a child to see the orthodontic earlier than the age of seven. These include early or late loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing. If you notice these behaviors in your child, we strongly recommend making an appointment with an orthodontist.

Teenage Orthodontics

Phase II of orthodontic treatment is for teens who received Phase I already or didn’t require Phase 1 treatment and have most of their permanent teeth. The goal of this phase is to ideally position all of the permanent teeth in order to maximize appearance and function.

Also, Invisalign Teen offers an alternative to braces for teens — nearly invisible aligners — and we’re the number one local Invisalign provider.

Orthodontics for Adults

According to the AAO, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. The growing number of options for braces, including Invisalign, makes orthodontic treatment for adults more popular. Properly aligned teeth are important at any age, not just for appearance but also for health. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less susceptible to abnormal wear on the enamel. Furthermore, a better bite allows you to eat better and speak more clearly, maintaining an overall healthier smile.

If you’re still unsure of when to schedule your first orthodontic treatment, reach out to us. We’d love to be your Invisalign specialist. But at the very least, we’d be happy to share what we believe to be the best solution to get a straighter smile based on your individual situation.

 

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  • Amazing office! My daughter was home from college and had an orthodontic emergency. She was not a previous patient. Dr Moran was kind enough to see her. The entire staff was amazing. I would never go anywhere else!

    Sharon Hoover Avatar
    Sharon Hoover
    10/18/2017

    I can’t say enough great things about this office. I am legal guardian of my sister and she is going through Invisalign with them… She’s almost done and I am amazed by the results.
    I also go there for continued orthodontic care because orthodontic retention is for life! So glad I have such great people to care for our teeth!!!

    Veronica Boyle Avatar
    Veronica Boyle
    11/22/2019

    This 64 year old had teeth that had begun to overlap in my adult years, which was attributed to having 4 good teeth removed as a child for "Crowded teeth". I waited to fund Invisalign until incurring no penalty for taking IRA funds, other than taxes. I was fortunate to be referred to Dr. Jason Bunch by my dentist, Dr. Jack Nicewander. Dr. Bunch and his Carmel, IN office staff see numerous children and young adults, but welcome the young at heart as well. I trust them and find them accommodating, efficient, professional and compassionate.

    Joyce Eggleston Avatar
    Joyce Eggleston
    3/22/2018

    Personal and professional, everyone always takes great care of my sensitive mouth teen!

    This is our first experience with needing orthodontia, when it’s time for my youngest to get braces, we’ll choose this place again in a heartbeat.

    From the team up front to the team in the back, everyone is so nice and yet so efficiently on task, it is quite impressive.

    They have reasonable pricing and are willing to help with a payment plan.

    Keep up the great work!!

    Robert Cassidy Avatar
    Robert Cassidy
    1/10/2018
  • Cannot say enough good things about this practice! I've been to Westfield and Carmel locations, both are beautiful with helpful and friendly staff. Dr Bunch is experienced, knowledgeable, and truly cares about his patients and strives to get the best results possible for each one!

    Karen Caudle Avatar
    Karen Caudle
    3/06/2018

    Excellent every time we’ve brought our kids. Thorough evaluations, knowledgeable doctors/staff, great with kids, and great results

    Stephanie Avatar
    Stephanie
    2/21/2018

    We were very pleased with the staff and services at Gorman & Bunch. From the beginning, they were very friendly and made us feel comfortable with our first ortho visit. Dr. Carly was very nice and attentive. We ended up with braces for my son on the first visit and they were quick and thorough and made our experience very positive. Definitely would recommend them! They are awesome!

    Donia Shackelford Avatar
    Donia Shackelford
    5/28/2019

    Amazing experience all around. The staff is super friendly and Dr. Carly always makes my daughter feel comfortable with the work being done. We are thrilled with the progress we are seeing, and the customer service is always top notch.

    Ryder man 645 Lozier Avatar
    Ryder man 645 Lozier
    9/26/2019
  • I love this office. The staff and Dr. Carly are great. I’m having amazing results with my program! I highly suggest it to any and everyone!

    Mark Roberts Avatar
    Mark Roberts
    12/09/2019

    Very great place! Went there for my first time today and i felt so comfortable and they are helping me fix my mouth!! Love love love!

    Haley Elston Avatar
    Haley Elston
    2/21/2018

    Heather and Dr Carly were awesome! Friendly, informative, and professional. Office was very inviting. We had a great appointment and look forward to the next couple of years of working with them.

    Andy Tebbe Avatar
    Andy Tebbe
    9/27/2017

    I received Invisalign treatment and had a lot going on. As a mom of two children ,under two years old, it’s tough making doctor appointments but let me tell you they make it work! I was with Dr. Carly at the Westfield office and she always encouraged my little sons to come during my appointments. This made things so much easier for me. The staff at Gorman and Bunch were always welcoming and inviting. They would remember you and are honestly genuine people. Let me tell you it is hard finding good medical practices these days but these people are the best. I forever will recommend Gorman and Bunch to young kiddos and adults.

    Casey Hood Avatar
    Casey Hood
    1/21/2020
  • Amazing experience they all made my daughter and I feel very comfortable, all the ladies were extremely nice. Very well informed. Wouldn't go anywhere else!

    Erica Wood Avatar
    Erica Wood
    10/02/2017

    Love this office! Helpful, professional, and knowledgeable doctor and staff. Haven’t had 1 issue with them. They’ve got their routine down pat.

    Courtney Amos Avatar
    Courtney Amos
    3/21/2018

    Fantastic staff who put the person (and their teeth!) at the center of the experience. Child-friendly waiting areas. I've had nothing but good experiences over my nearly 10 years with Gorman and Bunch. Cannot recommend highly enough!

    Pete Freeman Avatar
    Pete Freeman
    3/21/2018

    I just started my first week with the Invisalign. The staff has been extremely friendly and helpful through every step.

    Dr Carly’s initial evaluation of my case was extremely thorough and the options were explained in detail to help make an informed decision.

    They’ve certainly exceeded my expectation and from the looks of it, they do a great job with their younger patients as well!

    Patrick May Avatar
    Patrick May
    10/03/2019
  • Amazing experience all around. The staff is super friendly and Dr. Carly always makes my daughter feel comfortable with the work being done. We are thrilled with the progress we are seeing, and the customer service is always top notch.

    Alyssa Lozier Avatar
    Alyssa Lozier
    9/26/2019

    This is the best place to go! Dr. Carly and her staff have made my daughter's smile beautiful.

    Ruth Perkins Avatar
    Ruth Perkins
    1/23/2020

    Friendly staff and inviting atmosphere!!! Very detail oriented with the treatment plan.

    Lisa H Avatar
    Lisa H
    7/08/2020

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