It’s never too early to start supporting your child’s dental health! As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’, which certainly applies to the mouth and its overall health. Early orthodontic intervention can significantly improve a child’s future oral health by helping them establish a strong dental foundation that will stay with them for life. With careful attention from skilled orthodontics, we can work together to nurture their smile and put forth healthy habits so that your child can thrive both now and later on down the road.


What is an early orthodontic intervention?

Early orthodontic intervention is an approach to address issues related to teeth, jaw, and bite before they become more severe over time. This treatment method typically begins once children reach preschool age and continues into adolescence or beyond. Early orthodontic intervention is proactive and seeks to prevent long-term oral health problems arising from untreated teeth, jaws, or bite misalignment.


Importance of early intervention for lifelong health

Early orthodontic care provides numerous benefits for both short-term relief from a variety of dental issues as well as prevention of potential long-term complications. Furthermore, comprehensive care an experienced orthodontist provides during this stage helps children establish healthy habits that can last a lifetime.


Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention:

  1. Correcting bite issues: Early orthodontic intervention can help identify and correct issues related to teeth, jaw, and bite alignment before they become more serious. This helps prevent future dental problems arising from misalignment or malocclusion, such as difficulty chewing, speaking, or breathing.
  2. Resolving dental crowding and spacing: For many children, overcrowded teeth are an issue that can worsen at an early age without proper treatment. Early orthodontics helps create space between crowded teeth to allow for healthy and normal growth and prevent poor oral hygiene due to inadequate space.
  3. Enhancing facial aesthetics: Early orthodontic intervention can correct irregularities in the teeth and jaws, providing an improved aesthetic appearance to the face while also ensuring that permanent teeth grow properly and don’t cause future problems.
  4. Promoting oral hygiene: By correcting misalignment of teeth or bite issues early, orthodontics helps children maintain good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing and flossing correctly and avoiding potential risks due to poorer dental health, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
  5. Improving speech and pronunciation: Early treatment of orthodontic issues can help ensure normal speech development for children by resolving any misalignment of teeth, jaw, and bite that can lead to lisping or articulation problems.
  6. Preventing long-term complications: By addressing issues related to misalignment of the teeth and jaws at an early age, orthodontic treatment can help avoid long-term oral health issues such as headaches or joint pain due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.


Common Orthodontic Issues in Early Childhood

  1. Malocclusion: Malocclusion is common among children whose upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly when biting down or chewing food. This can cause difficulty with eating and speech development problems if not addressed.
  2. Dental crowding: This is a common issue among children and occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth to accommodate all permanent teeth, resulting in overcrowded teeth or misalignment. Left untreated, this can lead to difficulty with proper oral hygiene practices and more severe dental issues.
  3. Bite problems: Early orthodontic intervention may also be necessary if a child is experiencing bite issues such as an open bite or deep bite, which occur when the upper and lower sets of teeth don’t meet properly when biting down or chewing food. This can cause significant pain and discomfort and potentially lead to further dental problems if not addressed at an early age.


Types of Early Orthodontic Intervention

  1. Fixed appliances: Fixed appliances involve the use of braces or other devices that are attached to teeth and can’t be removed. This treatment is often necessary for more severe orthodontic issues and may require periodic adjustments as the child’s teeth move into proper alignment.
  2. Removable appliances: Removable appliances are designed to help correct minor misalignment issues and involve devices such as aligners, retainers, or expanders that can be taken on and off by the patient. These types of treatments require less frequent adjustments than fixed appliances.
  3. Functional appliances: Functional appliances involve using devices such as headgear or functional jaw repositioning splints to move the upper and lower teeth into proper alignment gradually.
  4. Specialized interventions for specific conditions: In some cases, more specialized treatments may be necessary to correct problems such as tongue thrusting or thumb-sucking habits that can lead to malocclusion if left untreated. These treatments involve customized devices designed to alter the patient’s behavior and help prevent long-term dental issues from developing.


Monitoring and Follow-Up

  1. Importance of regular check-ups: To ensure successful treatment results, it is important to have regular follow-up appointments with an orthodontist who can monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments or modifications to the treatment plan as needed.
  2. Adjustments and modifications: Adjustments and modifications may involve changes to the appliance or additional treatments, such as specialized exercises if needed. It is important to follow up with an orthodontist regularly to ensure that progress continues positively and that any necessary modifications are made along the way.
  3. Tracking progress and outcomes: During regular check-ups, it is important for an orthodontist to track the progress of the treatment plan and ensure that desired results are achieved. This helps ensure successful outcomes and long-term maintenance of proper dental health.


Parental Involvement and Education

  1. Supporting early intervention: Parents have a key role in helping their children receive early orthodontic care and should be informed about the Importance of this type of treatment for their child’s overall health and well-being.
  2. Educating parents about oral health: Parents should also be educated on good oral hygiene practices that can help maintain healthy teeth and gums and how to monitor their children’s dental development over time.
  3. Guidance on appliance care and compliance: It is also important for parents to understand proper use, maintenance, and cleaning techniques for any orthodontic appliances their children may require during treatment. This helps ensure successful outcomes by ensuring the appliance is used correctly and doesn’t cause further issues due to improper use or poor hygiene habits.



Orthodontic intervention early in life is essential to laying the foundation for lasting oral health. With this in mind, equipping your child with the right orthodontic treatments at the right time is important to prevent future problems and costlier treatments. Parents owe it to their kids to provide them with optimum care and ensure lifetime benefits at an affordable cost. At Embrace Orthodontics, we simplify this process because our experienced team of orthodontists believes that everyone deserves a beautiful and healthy smile. We have a wide range of services that make complex treatments comfortable and straightforward, from braces, retainers, Invisalign, or aligners treatment options to jaw joint treatments. Don’t delay! 



 White, L. D. (1998). Early orthodontic intervention. 113(1), 24–28.

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  2. King, G. G., Hall, C. B., Milgrom, P., & Grembowski, D. (2006). Early orthodontic treatment as a means to increase access for children enrolled in Medicaid in Washington state. 137(1), 86–94.