Rachel and Anna T., Columbia SC

Early Evaluation

If you are like most parents, you are probably wondering:

Why do kids in my child’s second grade class have braces?
When should my child see an orthodontist?

At Pitner Orthodontics, we recommend that all children be evaluated at age 7, but this does not mean your child will need braces in second grade or even in the future.  And you don’t need a referral by a dentist to take advantage of this free evaluation.

An early evaluation provides huge benefits to both you and your child. At your child’s initial evaluation, we will take photos and a panoramic x-ray. With this information, we will be able to see if your child has missing teeth, teeth not erupting properly, too little or too much space for the permanent teeth, or problems with the way the teeth fit together. For the vast majority of children, no treatment is indicated at this age and Dr. Pitner will let you know if it is likely that treatment will be needed in the future. Then your child will be seen briefly every six months to monitor the eruption and development of his/her teeth. With this process, which is offered at no charge to you, we can watch for the ideal time for your child to begin treatment so that he/she can have the best, most efficient results.

What if your child needs early treatment?

Two important problems of jaw development can only be corrected before age 10. The most significant is an underbite — the lower teeth hit in front of the upper teeth. This problem is best addressed while the upper jaw is still growing, which is only until age 10. Another similar problem is a narrow upper jaw where the back top teeth are inside of the bottom teeth (crossbite). Like the underbite, a crossbite is easiest to correct while the upper jaw is still growing.

We also treat some cosmetic problems at age 8 or 9. Perhaps your child’s front teeth have come in all over the place and he/she is self-conscious. Or maybe the front teeth stick out too much. These are problems that we can correct later, but often an earlier short course of treatment can give your child the self-confidence to smile proudly right now.

Early treatment does not replace comprehensive treatment of all the permanent teeth. The goal of early treatment is always only to correct important problems that cannot be corrected later or to make future treatment less complex.


Kaitlin S., Irmo SC

Connect with Pitner Orthodontics today!

To take advantage of all the benefits of early evaluation offered by Pitner Orthodontics, schedule your child’s free initial consultation today. We look forward to meeting you!

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