Early Treatment


Certain orthodontic problems lend themselves to being effectively managed early (before all of the permanent teeth have erupted). A list of some of these problems is included below. If in doubt, schedule an exam and we can evaluate and discuss your child’s case individually.

UNDERBITE (aka class III malocclusion)

Certain underbite problems (lower teeth biting ahead of the upper teeth) are best treated at age 7-8 years of age. We can actually modify the way the jaw grows in these situations and comparable results are most often unobtainable later.

NARROW UPPER JAW (aka posterior cross bite)

Certain upper jaw narrowness problems should be treated early (cross bite with shifting of the jaw to bite, severe narrowness) and others without shifting of the jaw can wait until later.


Certain types of bite relationships can endanger the well being of permanent teeth. The most common is where particular front teeth meet on the wrong side of their teeth in the opposite jaw.
This is called “crossbite.” Some crossbites can be corrected with retainer wear, others need braces
to be resolved.


If baby teeth are lost prematurely this can be a real problem. The body has a tendency to close spaces where baby teeth are lost early (no matter the cause) and this space loss can lead to removal of permanent teeth later. Timely placement of space maintenance devices can eliminate these type of problems and minimize the risk that permanent teeth will need to be removed later


Lower jaw crowding of teeth is important to evaluate before all of the baby teeth have shed. Timely use of a lower space maintainer can sometimes make the difference between removal and non-removal of permanent teeth later!