The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7!
Most early treatment, also known as phase 1 treatment, occurs between the ages of 7 and 9. Not all children are good candidates for early treatment. This is one of the primary decisions made at the initial examination.
In general, early treatment is interceptive in nature, and is directed toward preventing an existing problem from worsening, or preventing the development of a new problem in the future. Commonly the treatment goals are achieved by working with how younger children are able to grow, treatments that are not physically possible at a later time.
Most patients who go through an early phase of treatment require braces to complete their orthodontic care once all of the permanent teeth have erupted. This is commonly referred to as phase 2 treatment. The benefits of early treatment will vary, but often include an easier phase 2 treatment over a shorter period of time, avoidance of the need to remove permanent teeth, and possibly most important a more stable final result.