I get asked this question on a daily basis. Not just for kids younger than 10 but also teens. Parents have heard different things and some end up waiting till the child is 14-16 years old, limiting my range of treatment. Before I begin, All children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven, this is a recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontist. This allows early identification of potential problems. Certain orthodontic conditions are also best treated at this age. Other conditions are treated after most of the permanent teeth erupt, generally age ten to twelve.
Some bite problems, such as cross bite, should be corrected in kids that are less than 10 years of age. Bite irregularities that gradually worsen with time can be corrected or prevented.
As your child grows, the need for orthodontic treatment is often obvious. Just as often, however, it is not. Even teeth that appear straight may lack proper alignment. It is advised that, as your child ages, occasional evaluations be scheduled to detect current or future vulnerabilities. When early treatment occurs, cost and time in treatment can often be minimized. You want to start the treatment for a child 6 months before they hit puberty. There are questions that an orthodontist will ask to get us in the ballpark of this timing and lead to a very efficient treatment time.