Question regarding what is the right age to bring my son in. Thanks, Stacie G.

Hi Stacie.  Great question.  At Orthodontic Partners, we offer complimentary exams at any age which includes a panoramic x-ray, dental picture collage, and clinical examination.  We do this so that anyone can come be evaluated even if treatment isn’t indicated at the time or not needed at all.  But to better answer your question, we like to evaluate kids at age 7.  This is when the first set of teeth have usually erupted and we can get a good look of how your child’s teeth, bite, and jaws are growing.  If problems exist, conservative, interceptive treatment can usually be started that can alter poor growth patterns, create extra room for crowded teeth, and/or prevent dental trauma or future unnecessary tooth removal or oral surgery.  Most commonly treatment consists of dental arch expansion with retainer-type expanders.  Occasionally, braces on a few adult teeth are used.  Treatment is typically 12 months in duration.  We continue to monitor dental development and jaw growth until all permanent teeth are in (around age 12) and recommend phase II (braces or Invisalign) treatment as necessary to finalize tooth and bite alignment.  At this stage, after phase I treatment (if necessary), treatment is usually a lot less complicated, shorter time, and easier for the patient.  Many advantages exist for starting patients in need of early treatment, however not every patient needs early treatment.  So, we would be happy to see your son at any age for a complimentary exam, but usually age 7 is a perfect time to have us take a look.  Thanks so much for your question!