Early Intervention: The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Care for Kids


Orthodontic treatment is often associated with adolescence, as many people get braces during their teenage years. However, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should get their first orthodontic check-up by the time they are seven years of age. Early intervention can be crucial in addressing various dental and facial irregularities, preventing more severe issues from developing later.

Early Detection and Monitoring

The primary goal of early orthodontic evaluation is to identify and monitor any potential problems with the development of a child’s teeth, jaw, and facial structure. During these early visits, the orthodontist can assess the child’s bite, spacing issues, and any signs of crowding or misalignment. By catching these problems early, appropriate treatment can be initiated before they become more complex and difficult to correct.

Benefits of Early Intervention

Early orthodontic treatment offers numerous benefits for children:

  1. Improved Facial and Jaw Development

During the early years of a child’s life, the jawbones and facial structures are still growing and developing. Early intervention can help guide the proper growth and development of these structures, preventing or minimizing the need for more extensive treatment in the future.

  1. Better Teeth Alignment

By addressing issues like crowding or spacing early on, orthodontists can help ensure that the permanent teeth have enough room to erupt properly and align correctly. This can prevent more severe misalignments, which can be more challenging to correct later in life.

  1. Reduced Risk of Tooth Damage and Decay

Misaligned teeth can create areas that are difficult to clean, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.


Early orthodontic treatment can help eliminate these hard-to-reach areas, making it easier for children to maintain good oral hygiene.

  1. Improved Self-Confidence

Children with misaligned teeth or other orthodontic issues may feel self-conscious about their appearance, impacting their self-esteem and confidence. Early intervention can help address these concerns, allowing children to feel more confident and comfortable with their smiles.

Does Medicaid Cover Braces?

Many parents want to know: Does Medicare Cover Braces? While Medicare does not cover the cost of braces or other orthodontic treatments, Medicaid may provide coverage for children in certain circumstances. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage for low-income individuals and families. In many states, Medicaid covers orthodontic treatment for children if it is deemed medically necessary. However, coverage and eligibility requirements vary from state to state, so it’s essential to check with your local Medicaid office for specific details.

Early Orthodontic Treatment Options

Early orthodontic treatment can take various forms, depending on the child’s needs. Some common options include:

  1. Space Maintainers

Space maintainers are appliances used to hold space for permanent teeth after a baby tooth has been lost prematurely.


This helps prevent the remaining teeth from shifting and creating crowding issues.

  1. Palatal Expanders

The upper jaw can be wider with palatal expanders, giving crowded or misplaced teeth more room. Children who have crossbites or limited palates are frequently treated with them.

  1. Partial Braces

In some cases, partial braces may be recommended to address specific issues, such as correcting the alignment of a few teeth or addressing bite problems.

  1. Habit Appliances

Habit appliances, such as tongue cribs or lip bumpers, can help break harmful habits like thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting, which can cause orthodontic issues if left unchecked.


Early orthodontic intervention can profoundly impact a child’s dental and overall health, as well as their self-confidence and well-being. By addressing potential issues early on, orthodontists can help guide the proper development of a child’s teeth, jaws, and facial structures, minimizing the need for more extensive treatment in the future.

If you have concerns about your child’s dental development, it is essential to get your child evaluated by an orthodontist to determine whether early intervention is required.