Ask the expert – orthodontic treatment

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I have a son who is 9 years old and have noticed that some of his friends are already having some orthodontic treatment.  Is it too early to start treatment at this age?

People often think that orthodontic treatment should start in the teenage years once all the permanent teeth have erupted.  This may be true in many cases, however, younger children with specific orthodontic problems, may benefit from early orthodontic treatment.

We would recommend that you book your child in for an early assessment if you notice any of the following:

  • Early, late or irregular loss of the baby teeth
  • Crowded, crooked or misplaced teeth
  • Prominent upper or lower teeth (underbite or overbite)
  • Jaws that seem out of proportion to the rest of the face
  • Persistent oral habits such as thumb sucking beyond the age of 5 years

Early orthodontic treatment may give us a chance to:

  • Guide the growth of the jaws
  • Lower the risk of trauma to prominent front teeth
  • Correct any harmful oral habits
  • Guide permanent teeth to erupt into a more favourable position
  • Improve the alignment of the teeth

Getting the timing right for any orthodontic treatment is important and we recommend that you bring your child in for their first orthodontic check-up when they are 8 years of age.


Dr Adam Leung

BDSc (Hons), DClinDent (Ortho)

Specialist Orthodontist
Peninsula Orthodontics
134 Tanti Avenue, Mornington
Ph: (03) 5975 5166

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