Age is just a number… especially when it comes to your smile! There are no age requirements or limits when it comes to enjoying the advantages of a beautiful, vibrant smile. Several intervention and interception procedures can be initiated at an early age, which can make it possible to minimize the severity of developing problems


Early treatment is important for your child’s oral health and self-confidence

The advantage of early diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic problems is great, and can eliminate a lot of time, money, and stress in the future. Dr. Leong recommends that children have their first orthodontic examination by age 7 to assess potential problems.  By correcting small problems in the early stages, bigger problems are prevented down the road. Signs of potential orthodontic problems in young children may not be initially visible or obvious, so we recommend an initial exam

Signs that indicate an orthodontic exam may be needed in young children

early or late loss of teeth

difficulty chewing


sucking on fingers/pacifiers

crowded or overly spaced teeth

jaw dysfunction (including sunken or protruding jaw)

misaligned teeth

By quickly detecting potential problems, the Expression Orthodontics team can move quickly to correct them.  We provide early space maintenance and early correction in crossbite cases in hopes of minimizing two phase treatments.  Two phase treatment is the process of applying braces or another form of treatment to a child’s deciduous teeth (baby teeth) and possibly again after facial and dental development has stopped


The American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven, before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Any treatment needed at this age is referred to as Phase I treatment. We recommend this age for two reasons:

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There is a wide disparity in tooth development near the age of seven. This requires an expert to know if your child actually needs orthodontic treatment or if it’s normal developmental growth. An orthodontist can also tell if there is enough room in the mouth to accommodate permanent teeth.

Most conditions are easier to treat the earlier they are caught, when natural growth processes are at their peak. If some of these conditions are left untreated at a young age they may require surgery or permanent tooth extractions later in life.

However, there are some behaviors that may require a child to see the orthodontic earlier than the age of seven. These include early or late loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing. If you notice these behaviors in your child, we strongly recommend making an appointment with an orthodontist.


Phase II of orthodontic treatment is for teens who received Phase I already or didn’t require Phase 1 treatment and have most of their permanent teeth. The goal of this phase is to ideally position all of the permanent teeth in order to maximize appearance and function.


According to the AAO, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. The growing number of options for braces, including Invisalign, makes orthodontic treatment for adults more popular. Properly aligned teeth are important at any age, not just for appearance but also for health.

An orthodontic evaluation performed at an early age will probably not avoid the necessity for another intervention later, but it may lead to a simpler and more efficient treatment for patients, as well as reassuring them on their dental condition.

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types of braces or dental appliances

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age — and in older patients, compliance isn’t usually an issue. Plus, with the growing availability of clear aligners, translucent ceramic brackets, and lingual braces, it’s getting harder to tell whether or not you’re wearing orthodontic appliances. So if you worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image, be sure to ask about less-visible alternatives.

Of course, it isn’t just about looks. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain, and less subject to abnormal wear. A better bite keeps you from having trouble eating and speaking, and helps your teeth stay healthy — and healthy teeth can last a lifetime

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