It’s best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required, and if not when is the best time. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.
In most cases early intervention will not be required. At this point the doctor will normally monitor the case and advise the parent as to when their child is ready for routine orthodontics.