What is the best timing for orthodontic treatment?

Crooked teeth or “malocclusions” can be recognized as early as 2-3 years of age.  However, they are most commonly treated when the permanent teeth erupt.

Stage I – Early Treatment – 2 to 6 years: At this young age, we are concerned with underdeveloped dental arches, the premature loss of primary teeth, and harmful habits such as finger or thumb sucking. Treatment initiated in this stage of development is often very successful and many times, though not always, can eliminate the need for future orthodontic/orthopedic treatment.

Stage II – Mixed Dentition – 6-12 years:  During this time, we monitor the eruption of the permanent incisors (front teeth) and 6-year molars. Treatment concerns deal with jaw positions and dental alignment problems. This is an excellent stage to start treatment, when indicated, as your child’s hard and soft tissues are usually very responsive to orthodontic and orthopedic forces.

Stage III – Adolescent Dentition – teenage years: This stage deals with the permanent teeth and the development of the final bite relationship.