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What is early orthodontics?

The goal of early orthodontics is to treat any problems that will affect your child’s future dental health, like crooked teeth, overcrowded teeth, or spacing problems, while their mouth is still developing.

Early orthodontics uses several methods to improve the growth and alignment of your child’s permanent teeth. We may begin early orthodontic treatment as early as 6 years of age, depending on your child’s oral health. Usually, your child has a mix of permanent and baby teeth when we begin their treatment. Early intervention can make orthodontic treatment faster and more effective than waiting until your child has all their permanent teeth.

Dental irregularities, such as misaligned teeth or bite problems, are easier to spot and treat in childhood. We can often use early orthodontics to treat problems that require surgery or more intensive procedures to fix once your child is older.

How does early orthodontics work?

Early orthodontics has three main phases:

Stage 1: Early Treatment

Early treatment takes place between the ages of 2 and 6. The primary aim of phase 1 is to create space for permanent teeth to grow in by guiding the width of their mouth’s arches with dental appliances and space holders. We’ll also work to eliminate unfavorable habits, like thumb-sucking. Some children don’t require phase 1 treatment and can wait for phase 2.

Stage 2: Middle Dentition

This stage is for kids between the ages of 6 and 12. We strike to correct crossbites, realign the jaw, and begin straightening their permanent teeth using braces and other orthodontic treatments.

Stage 3: Adolescent Dentition

Phase 3 refers to care for kids who are 13 or older. We continue to focus on straightening their tooth, addressing bite or palette problems, and improving your child’s smile. Starting treatment in stage 1 or 2 can reduce the time your child spends in phase 3.

What are the benefits?

Early orthodontics has multiple benefits for your child:

Encourages healthy oral habits

By stopping unhealthy habits, like thumb sucking and pacifier use, at an early age, we can prevent future orthodontic problems.

Lowers the risk of other dental issues

Crooked and misaligned teeth are difficult for your child to properly clean, making them more susceptible to tooth decay, cavities, and other dental problems. Early orthodontics corrects your child’s teeth so that they’re less likely to experience dental issues.

Boosts confidence and appearance

A misaligned jaw or crooked teeth can affect your child’s self-esteem. Early orthodontics addresses the issues impacting their smile so that they feel confident and proud when they smile.

Early Orthodontics in Queens & Brooklyn, NY - Downtown Braces & Children's Dentistry

Early Orthodontics, Queens & Brooklyn, New York


Early orthodontics involves treating your child’s orthodontic problems before their permanent teeth have completely grown in.

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