According to the Australian Society of Orthodontics, children’s teeth should be assessed by an orthodontist at the time the adult teeth begin to appear, around the age of 6 to 7 years. By this age, your child’s teeth have developed enough to where subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth can be assessed and treated early.
During the process of teeth development, various problems may be encountered such as overcrowding, problems with tooth eruption, crooked teeth or cross-bites due to different upper and lower jaw sizes. This may cause malocclusion (misalignment) which can be effectively corrected with braces. Space maintainers may be required to maintain spaces between the teeth and help in teeth alignment so that later tooth extractions can be avoided. Braces are usually started between 9-14 years of age, however orthodontic problems are better addressed at an earlier age and may even prevent the need for braces or shorten the treatment time necessary later on.