Did you know that young children with crooked teeth or malocclusions should be seen by an orthodontist at the age of about 7 or 8 years? Did you also know that you don’t need a referral for an orthodontist?

If you answered ‘No’, don’t worry; you’re not alone! Most parents are in the dark when it comes to understanding orthodontics. A common misconception is that you can only start orthodontic treatment once the transition from milk to permanent teeth has taken place.

However, some orthodontic problems are more easily remedied in young children who are still growing: so long before all their adult teeth are in place. Waiting until the teenage years before going to an orthodontist can make these early problems worse. Leading to more complicated and far-reaching treatments that could otherwise have been avoided.

Although early orthodontic treatment is not necessary for all children, between the ages of 7 and 10 years an orthodontist can assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaw, and determine at an early stage whether and when intervention is appropriate.

Orthodontists are highly trained to recognise problems in children at an early age, even those problems that are not yet fully visible. They can correct these at an early stage and so avoid possible long-term problems.