When Does My Child Need To Come See The Orthodontist?

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All you need to do is a quick Google search and you will see:
“According to the American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO), your child should see the orthodontist no later than age 7.” Seems pretty early right? If your child is 7 or older and hasn’t come to see us yet….RELAX – no need to worry.

If your child is receiving regular dental care, especially if you are seeing a pediatric dentist, you will typically be referred to us when, and only when, the dentist feels that they need some sort of orthodontic treatment. Pediatric dentists and many general dentists who treat children are especially attuned to identifying orthodontic problems early and will make referrals only when they feel your child needs to be seen. But when in doubt – you can always ask!

If you aren’t receiving regular dental care my first advice would be to find a dentist you trust for your child and THEN come see us. Making sure the teeth are healthy and happy is the first step prior to any sort of orthodontic treatment.


Many children do not require any treatment until all of their permanent teeth have come in – this typically happens around age 12 (though there’s a large range anywhere from 10 to 15). Some will need to come to see us sooner – in these cases the sooner the better!

If you ever have any questions as to whether your child needs to be seen or how to choose an orthodontist, bring them by to see us. Sometimes they may need treatment but we have no problem telling you when they do not. After all, the best kind of orthodontics is the kind you don’t have to do! Or as Dr. Stewart puts it, “We are masters of doing nothing….”

Stay tuned next time to hear about when early treatment is recommended, and when it is not!

Please feel free to send any questions or feedback to Dr. Tyler at trathburn@atlantaortho.com

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