Early Orthodontic Treatment

Pediatric Orthodontist in Chattanooga, TN

What comes to mind when you think about orthodontics? Most people tend to think about metal braces, which are typically associated with children between the ages of 11 and 13. While metal braces are an orthodontic treatment, they are only a part of orthodontics. Many different orthodontic issues can begin to present themselves early on in childhood, and they are often easier to treat early on. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. By this age, the adult teeth are starting to erupt, and potential issues can be predicted. At Sawrie Orthodontics, we offer early pediatric orthodontic treatment for children in Chattanooga, TN, which enables us to determine potential issues and provide the treatment your child needs to achieve a beautiful, healthy mouth.


A pediatric patient smiling with early braces from his Orthodontist in Chattanooga, TN at Sawrie.

What Issues Can Be Treated With Early Orthodontics?

An early orthodontic evaluation is essential for determining the presence of, or the potential for, a variety of different orthodontic issues. By identifying these orthodontic issues, we are then able to formulate an effective treatment plan that will help to prevent more serious issues from developing later on. Issues that can be treated with early orthodontics include:

  • Open bites, which are when the top and bottom front teeth do not come together.
  • Crossbites, which are when one or more of the top teeth on one side of the mouth fall inside the bottom teeth when the jaw is closed.
  • Overcrowding.
  • Too much space between teeth.
  • Premature loss of the baby teeth.
  • Teeth erupting out of sequence.
  • Teeth that have stopped erupting, which can lead to displacement.

Stages of Orthodontic Treatment

There are three stages of orthodontic treatment:

  • The earliest stage of treatment occurs between the ages of 2 and 6. The goal of the first stage is to ensure there is sufficient space for all of the teeth to erupt. We can help your child to break oral habits such as pacifier use, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting. Some children may require appliances to hold space for permanent teeth, prevent teeth from shifting, or to help the jaw develop.
  • The second stage is between the ages of 6 and 12. During this stage, we focus on proper jaw alignment and can begin the process of ensuring proper tooth alignment. Some children may need a fixed or removable appliance during this stage.
  • The third stage occurs around the age of 13 and older. This is the stage that most people think of when they think about orthodontics. Braces are commonly used during this stage to straighten your teeth, improving the smile and your oral health.

The Benefits of Early Treatment

There are several benefits to early orthodontic treatment for your child. These benefits include:

  • We can predict the development of their adult teeth.
  • Helping to stop certain oral habits, which aids in the prevention of different issues later.
  • We can help to guide the jaw into proper alignment.
  • Reducing the need for orthodontic treatment later on. Later treatments may not need to be as invasive or last as long. In some cases, we can prevent the need for later orthodontic treatment altogether.
  • Speech issues can be prevented.
  • The risk for cavities and gum disease is reduced.
  • The appearance of the smile is improved, which can significantly increase confidence.

Early treatment provides your child with the orthodontic treatments they need early on, lessening the severity of necessary treatments later. In some cases, early treatment can eliminate the need for later treatment. Call Sawrie Orthodontics at (423) 624-8217 for more information and to schedule a consultation for your child today.