Guide your child to a healthy, straight smile with early intervention at Teng Smiles Orthodontics PC.
Help Prevent Crooked Teeth
Before They Begin
An early ortho visit for your child prevents and treats serious misalignment problems.
As parents, we always want the best for our children and that includes protecting their smiles. To help ensure your child develops a healthy, beautiful smile, we recommend scheduling an early orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven or sooner if you see warning signs of malocclusion.
Early start orthodontics, AKA interceptive orthodontics, finds, prevents, and treats alignment issues in children with baby teeth. Our Bellevue, WA orthodontist also helps pinpoint and treat airway issues and abnormal oral function, which may negatively affect jaw growth plus physical and cognitive development.
Some problems in kids are best treated at a young age to prevent issues from getting worse and more expensive to treat down the road. If caught early enough, we can intercept the developing problems, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth for a comfortable, healthy bite.
Dental issues to look out for in kids include:
Whether it’s caused by an inherited problem, bad habits, an accident, or dental disease, we’re here to help your little one grow a confident and healthy smile!
Benefits of Early
How Early Intervention Works
Making treatments easier for kids with early orthodontics.
By planning ahead at Teng Smiles Orthodontics PC in Bellevue, WA, we set the foundation for a confident and functional smile your child will love. We’re here to help you make informed decisions that positively impact your child for the rest of their life.
At the initial consultation, we discuss your concerns and perform an exam of your child’s mouth. The process is quick and painless, and helps us determine what’s best for your child’s teeth and jaw development.
Together, we review the exam findings and any potential issues. Our orthodontist lets you know if any treatment or monitoring is required and outlines the recommended next steps.
If needed, we monitor your child’s development and proceed with treatment. Examples of treatment include a palatal expander and Invisalign First® to guide teeth and jaw growth, or the removal of baby teeth.
Phase one early start orthodontics helps make room for permanent teeth and a comfortable bite. In some cases, phase two orthodontics may be required for permanent teeth, but treatment will most likely be easier due to our early intervention.
Your child's first steps to a straighter smile.
Invisalign® First is designed for little smiles, especially children between 6-10 years of age. This phase 1 treatment provides several benefits to your child. Here are some ways Invisalign® First can help:
‘‘Dr. Teng is a great orthodontist and is very caring and has lots of experience in the field. He can also speak Mandarin Chinese, which is great if you know how to speak it.’’
FAQ About Early Orthodontics
What is early orthodontic treatment?
Early start orthodontic treatment focuses on the growth and development of a young child’s smile, including the teeth and jaw. It’s designed to help kids who still have all or some of their primary teeth.
We intercept and prevent improper alignment or growth of adult teeth. The goal is to create your child’s straight, beautiful, and functional smile in the easiest and most efficient way.
A straight smile has the power to change your child’s life by boosting confidence and making hygiene easier.
How early is too early for braces?
While braces and aligners help patients of all ages, including kids, teens, and adults, we recommend seeing an orthodontist at a young age.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), every child should receive an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven or earlier if there are signs of crowding, large spacing, or abnormal growth of teeth.
Every child is different, but the first permanent molars typically start to emerge around the age of six, allowing us to understand the basic alignment of your child’s teeth. This helps us determine if there’s enough room for adult teeth and if any monitoring or treatment is required.
When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?
Every smile is unique, which means every orthodontic treatment is custom-made. The best time to start your child’s treatment plan depends on the existing issue and the child’s development.
Our orthodontist works closely with you and your child to make treatments easier, less invasive, more effective, and more comfortable through early intervention. Schedule your young child’s first ortho visit to ensure you don’t miss an important window of opportunity. For some kids, it is better to start around age of 7-9, and for others it is preferred to start around 10-13, for rare occasions, at age of 17-19.
What Is the Best age for early orthodontic treatment?
The best age for braces depends on the person. While many misalignment issues are treated with braces or aligners once all the permanent teeth erupt, some problems are best treated early during jaw development.
Early start orthodontics helps prevent alignment issues from getting worse or more costly to treat in the future. This is also known as phase one orthodontics and focuses on the development of incoming teeth.
Some cases require phase one and two treatment for kids, but the second part is typically much easier and shorter when combined with phase one. Phase two focuses on the alignment of permanent teeth and is sometimes completed on its own in older children and adults.
How do I know if my child needs braces?
Some signs your child needs braces may be hard to spot, while others are easy to see. An orthodontist recognizes even the most subtle signs that your child needs braces, which is why we recommend scheduling a no-obligation consultation at Teng Smiles Orthodontics PC in Bellevue, WA today.
Problems to watch out for in children:
- Protruding teeth
- Crossbite or underbite
- Extra or missing teeth
- Severe crowding or spacing
- Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or mouth breathing