Early Orthodontic Treatment in McLean

Early orthodontics

Why Choose Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Getting your child started on orthodontics early can benefit their oral health later in life. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends taking your child to see an orthodontist around age 7 to decide whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary. Early orthodontic treatment can guide the growth and development of the jaws and adult teeth to optimize their permanent positions. Problems with fully developed teeth and jaws at a later age are more difficult to fix, often requiring surgeries and other complex procedures.

Our Treatments



Expanders are common orthodontic appliances that widen a child’s jaw during the growth of the bones and cartilage, making it spacious enough for adult teeth. Expanders are available for the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. They have a mini-screw attached to them that you can turn using a special key to gradually widen the jaw and the dental arch. Most children who get expanders don’t report pain, and if there is any discomfort, it is tolerable. We offer 3D printed expanders with greater accuracy, easier placement, and less chair time.

Early braces

Early Braces

It may feel like it’s too early to seek orthodontic evaluation for your child, but the American Association of Orthodontics recommends an evaluation by age 7. Patients this young do not always need orthodontic intervention yet, but if there are issues that could worsen (and we can prevent them), getting started with braces early has the potential to prevent further more problems down the line.

Thumb sucking

Habit Appliances

Habit appliances are small devices we can use to help your child stop a potentially damaging habit—such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting—before it causes issues for their bite or alignment. Often made of metal, these devices resemble small retainers that are worn for a short amount of time to break these habits and help prevent further treatment down the line.

Signs Your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early loss of baby teeth before age 5

By using special early orthodontic treatments, we can prevent the early loss of baby teeth which will save them more extensive treatments in the future.

Over-retained baby teeth by age 13

Over-retained baby teeth can occur when they don't have the space to fall out and grow on their own.

Speech impediment

A bad bite and misaligned teeth can contribute to speech problems.

Mouth breathing

If your child continuously breathes out of their mouth, it may be due to misalignment issues.

Thumb sucking after age 5

Excessive thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking may indicate the need for early orthodontic treatment.

Difficulty chewing or biting down

Jaw misalignments or overcrowding in the mouth can cause issues with chewing and biting properly.

Protruding teeth

Protruding teeth are often a sign that your child's teeth aren't erupting into alignment.


Early orthodontic treatment is particularly important for children who may have jaw problems such as an underbite or overbite.

Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth are often a sign that your child can benefit from orthodontics.

Check Out These Beautiful Results!

See the difference that Spark Aligners can make in your smile.

Cross bite, Spacing

before and after treatment




What is the best age to start orthodontic treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends an evaluation by age 7. This does not mean your child will need orthodontic treatment at this age, but it’s the best time to evaluate them as most patients will have their adult upper and lower incisor teeth in addition to their molars. This makes it an ideal time to observe how the rest of the adult teeth will come in and whether or not the teeth are properly aligned.

Is early orthodontic treatment necessary?

Not every child needs early orthodontic treatment, but when they do, it has the potential to prevent further complications or misalignment down the line. Getting started at a young age can also more easily guide the teeth and jaw into the place we want them to be.

How much will early orthodontic treatment hurt?

Early treatment can actually help your child avoid some of the pain and discomfort associated with greater misalignment problems later in life. While some discomfort is inevitable when we’re gradually moving teeth, it should not be painful, and we do everything we can to keep discomfort to a minimum and dental anxieties at bay.

Schedule An Appointment

Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child’s orthodontic care.

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