When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

As a parent, you want the very best for your child, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. One important aspect of your child’s health that shouldn’t be overlooked is their dental health. While regular visits to the dentist are essential, there may come a time when you wonder if your child needs more specialized care from an orthodontist. In this article, we’ll explore the topic of “When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?” and shed light on the critical role that early orthodontic evaluation plays in your child’s dental development.

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we understand the significance of ensuring your child’s oral health and providing the right orthodontic care when needed. With years of expertise and a commitment to patient-centered care, we’re here to guide you through the journey of achieving your child’s healthiest and most beautiful smile. Let’s embark on this informative exploration together to learn when and why your child should see an orthodontist.

The Importance of Early Evaluation

When it comes to your child’s dental health, early evaluation by an orthodontist is crucial. Orthodontists are specialists in diagnosing and treating issues related to the alignment of teeth and jaws. While many parents may think of braces as a solution for older children or teenagers, the truth is that orthodontic evaluations should begin much earlier.

Early evaluation, typically recommended around the age of seven, allows orthodontists to identify and address potential problems before they become more challenging to correct. At this age, your child’s adult teeth are beginning to emerge, making it an ideal time to assess their dental development.

Here are some compelling reasons why early evaluation is so important:

Early Detection of Issues: An orthodontist can identify dental problems and irregularities at an early stage. This includes issues such as overcrowding, bite problems, and misaligned teeth.

Preventive Measures: Early evaluation allows for the implementation of preventive measures. These measures can help guide the growth of your child’s jaw and create adequate space for permanent teeth to come in properly.

Timely Intervention: If orthodontic issues are detected early, the orthodontist can recommend the most suitable treatment plan. Early intervention often results in less complex and shorter treatment later on.

Addressing Speech and Chewing Difficulties: Orthodontic problems can impact your child’s speech and ability to chew food properly. Early evaluation can address these concerns, improving your child’s overall well-being.

Boosting Confidence: A healthy, beautiful smile can significantly boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence. Early orthodontic care can contribute to a more confident and happy child.

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we emphasize the importance of early orthodontic evaluation as a proactive approach to your child’s dental health. Our experienced orthodontists are dedicated to providing personalized care and recommendations that set your child on the path to a lifetime of healthy and confident smiles.

Common Orthodontic Problems in Children

Orthodontic issues can manifest in various ways in children. While not every child will experience these problems, it’s essential for parents to be aware of potential signs that may necessitate an orthodontic evaluation. Here are some common orthodontic problems in children:

Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to a misalignment of the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed. This can lead to issues with biting and chewing, as well as affect the appearance of the smile.

Crowding: Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth for all the permanent teeth to emerge correctly. This can result in teeth overlapping or becoming misaligned.

Spacing: On the contrary, some children may experience excessive spacing between their teeth. This can be due to missing teeth or other developmental factors.

Overbite: An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth overlap significantly with the lower front teeth when the jaws are closed. This can lead to issues with speech and potential damage to the lower teeth.

Underbite: An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, where the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth. This condition can also affect speech and lead to jaw pain.

Crossbite: A crossbite happens when some of the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when the jaws are closed. It can affect both the front and side teeth and may lead to uneven wear.

Thumb-Sucking: Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use can impact dental development and lead to orthodontic problems. It’s essential to address these habits early.

Tongue Thrusting: Some children have a habit of pushing their tongue against their front teeth when swallowing, which can affect tooth positioning.

Teeth Eruption Issues: Problems can arise if adult teeth don’t emerge properly or are blocked by other teeth. This may require intervention to guide them into the correct position.

Identifying these issues early through an orthodontic evaluation is critical. Our team at Scaffidi Orthodontics is experienced in diagnosing and treating a wide range of orthodontic problems in children. Early intervention can often prevent more severe issues later on and contribute to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Age and Timing

The timing of your child’s first orthodontic evaluation is crucial to addressing any potential issues effectively. While the exact age can vary from child to child, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven.

At this age, your child’s mouth is still growing and developing, and many of the permanent teeth are beginning to come in. This early evaluation allows orthodontists to identify any emerging problems and determine the best course of action for treatment, if necessary.

Here’s why early evaluation is essential:

Monitoring Growth: By evaluating your child’s orthodontic health at an early age, orthodontists can monitor their growth patterns and identify any potential issues in jaw development.

Preventing Future Problems: Early intervention can often prevent more severe orthodontic problems from developing later on. Addressing issues like bite problems or misalignment early can lead to more straightforward and less invasive treatments.

Planning Ahead: If your child does require orthodontic treatment, an early evaluation allows the orthodontist to plan the treatment effectively. This can result in shorter treatment times and more predictable outcomes.

Building a Positive Relationship: An early orthodontic evaluation also helps your child become familiar with the orthodontic office, making future visits less intimidating. It’s an opportunity to establish a positive and trusting relationship with the orthodontist.

It’s important to note that not all children will require immediate orthodontic treatment after their initial evaluation. In many cases, the orthodontist may recommend periodic check-ups to monitor growth and development until the optimal time for treatment.

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we understand the unique needs of children and provide personalized care to ensure their dental health and overall well-being. If you have questions about when to schedule your child’s first orthodontic evaluation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

Scaffidi Orthodontics: Your Trusted Partner

When it comes to your child’s orthodontic care, you need a trusted partner who understands the unique needs of growing smiles. At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we are committed to providing exceptional orthodontic care for patients of all ages, including children.

Here’s why Scaffidi Orthodontics is the right choice for your child:

Experienced Orthodontists: Our team is led by Dr. David Scaffidi, an experienced orthodontist with a passion for creating beautiful, healthy smiles. Dr. Scaffidi has transformed smiles all around Kenner, New Orleans, and Slidell, Louisiana, and is dedicated to staying at the forefront of orthodontic advancements.

Child-Friendly Environment: We understand that visiting the orthodontist can be a new experience for children. That’s why we’ve created a welcoming and child-friendly environment where your little one can feel comfortable and at ease.

Early Orthodontic Expertise: Dr. Scaffidi and our team have extensive experience in early orthodontic evaluations and treatments. We know how to assess your child’s orthodontic needs accurately and provide guidance on the right timing for treatment.

Personalized Care: We believe that every child is unique, and their orthodontic treatment should reflect that. Our team takes the time to get to know your child’s specific needs and create a personalized treatment plan tailored to their situation.

State-of-the-Art Technology: Scaffidi Orthodontics is equipped with the latest orthodontic technology, ensuring that your child receives the most advanced and effective treatments available.

Comprehensive Services: Whether your child needs early intervention, braces, Invisalign, or any other orthodontic treatment, we offer a wide range of services to meet their needs. Our goal is to provide outstanding value for a reasonable price.

Friendly and Caring Team: Our team is not only highly skilled but also genuinely caring and friendly. We’re here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and make your child’s orthodontic journey a positive one.

Flexible Payment Options: We understand that orthodontic treatment is an investment in your child’s future. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans and automatic bank drafts to make the financial aspect of treatment more manageable.

Choosing the right orthodontic partner for your child is a significant decision. At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we are dedicated to helping your child achieve the beautiful, show-stopping smile they deserve. When it’s time for your child’s first orthodontic evaluation or if you have any questions about their orthodontic needs, we’re here to help.

The Evaluation Process

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we believe that early evaluation is key to providing the best possible orthodontic care for your child. Our evaluation process is thorough, gentle, and designed to identify any potential orthodontic issues in their early stages. Here’s what you can expect during your child’s evaluation:

Warm Welcome: From the moment you and your child step into our office, you’ll be greeted with a warm and friendly atmosphere. We understand that visiting the orthodontist can be a new experience, especially for children, so we strive to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Getting to Know You: Our team will take the time to get to know you and your child. We’ll ask about any specific concerns you may have regarding your child’s smile or oral health. Your input is valuable to us, and it helps us tailor our evaluation to your child’s needs.

Thorough Examination: Dr. David Scaffidi, our experienced orthodontist, will conduct a comprehensive examination of your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaws. This examination may include digital X-rays and other diagnostic tools to assess their orthodontic condition thoroughly.

Discussion and Education: Once the examination is complete, Dr. Scaffidi will discuss his findings with you and your child. If any orthodontic issues are detected, he will explain them in simple, easy-to-understand terms. We believe that informed parents and patients make the best decisions about their orthodontic care.

Personalized Treatment Plan: If orthodontic treatment is recommended, Dr. Scaffidi will create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your child’s unique needs. We’ll discuss the available treatment options, the expected duration of treatment, and what you can expect throughout the process.

Addressing Your Questions: We encourage you and your child to ask any questions you may have during the evaluation. We want you to feel confident and well-informed about the recommended treatment plan and the benefits it will provide.

Next Steps: If your child’s orthodontic evaluation indicates that treatment is needed, we’ll help you schedule your next appointments. Our team will also provide you with information on insurance coverage, flexible payment options, and any other logistics to ensure a smooth and convenient orthodontic journey.

Early evaluation is crucial because it allows us to detect and address orthodontic issues before they become more severe. By taking proactive steps now, you can help ensure that your child enjoys a lifetime of optimal oral health and a beautiful smile. In the next section, we’ll explore common orthodontic problems that early intervention can effectively address.

Treatment Options

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we offer a range of treatment options designed to address the unique orthodontic needs of children. Dr. David Scaffidi and our experienced team will work closely with you and your child to determine the most suitable treatment plan. Here are some of the treatment options we may recommend:

Traditional Braces: Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wires that are highly effective at correcting various orthodontic issues. They are a reliable and time-tested option for achieving a straighter smile.

Invisalign for Teens: Invisalign clear aligners are an excellent choice for older children and teenagers who prefer a more discreet orthodontic solution. These removable aligners are virtually invisible, allowing your child to maintain their confidence while straightening their teeth.

Phase I Orthodontics: Some orthodontic issues are best addressed in two phases. Phase I orthodontics, also known as early interceptive treatment, begins when a child still has some primary (baby) teeth. It aims to correct specific problems and create a better foundation for future orthodontic treatment.

Palatal Expanders: Palatal expanders are used to widen the upper jaw, creating more space for permanent teeth to come in properly. This can be especially beneficial for children with crowded teeth.

Retainers: Retainers are often part of the post-treatment phase to help maintain the results achieved with braces or Invisalign. They play a crucial role in preventing teeth from shifting back into their original positions.

Orthodontic Monitoring: For some children, monitoring their dental development is all that’s needed until they reach the ideal age for orthodontic treatment. This approach allows us to begin treatment at the most appropriate time.

Our commitment to providing the highest quality care means that we’ll recommend the treatment option that best suits your child’s needs. Dr. Scaffidi and our team will take the time to thoroughly explain the recommended treatment, including its benefits, expected duration, and any maintenance involved.

We understand that each child is unique, and their orthodontic journey should be as well. Our goal is to ensure that your child receives the most effective and comfortable treatment possible, resulting in a healthy, confident smile.

Patient-Centered Care

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, your child’s well-being and comfort are our top priorities. We understand that visiting an orthodontist can be a new and sometimes apprehensive experience for children. That’s why we’re committed to providing patient-centered care that makes every visit to our practice a positive and enjoyable one.

Our approach to patient-centered care includes:

Friendly and Caring Team: Our team is not only highly skilled but also genuinely friendly and compassionate. We create a warm and welcoming environment where children can feel at ease.

Child-Focused Atmosphere: We’ve designed our office with children in mind. From colorful décor to kid-friendly waiting areas, we strive to create an environment where children feel comfortable and relaxed.

Open Communication: We believe in open and honest communication. Dr. Scaffidi and our team take the time to explain procedures, answer questions, and involve both you and your child in decision-making.

Individualized Treatment: No two children are the same, and neither are their orthodontic needs. We tailor our treatment plans to each child’s unique situation, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

Educational Approach: We believe in educating children about their orthodontic treatment. We’ll teach them about the importance of good oral hygiene, proper care of orthodontic appliances, and the benefits of treatment.

Comfortable Experience: Orthodontic treatments may take some time, and we want your child to feel comfortable during each visit. We provide amenities like entertainment options and a prize rewards program to make their time with us more enjoyable.

Parent Involvement: We encourage parents to be actively involved in their child’s orthodontic journey. We’ll keep you informed about progress, changes, and what you can do to support your child’s treatment.

Flexible Payment Options: We understand that orthodontic treatment is an investment in your child’s future. That’s why we offer flexible payment options to make it more manageable for your family.

Our patient-centered approach extends to every aspect of your child’s orthodontic care. We want them to look forward to their visits, knowing that they’re in good hands. We believe that creating a positive and supportive environment is essential in helping children achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.


As a parent, ensuring the well-being of your child is your top priority. When it comes to their oral health and the alignment of their teeth, early intervention can make a significant difference. At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we’re here to partner with you on this journey to provide the best care for your child’s smile.

We’ve discussed the crucial factors surrounding when your child should see an orthodontist. The importance of early evaluation, common orthodontic problems in children, the right age for an initial visit, and the comprehensive care offered by Scaffidi Orthodontics are all essential aspects of this decision-making process.

Remember, every child is unique, and their orthodontic needs can vary. Early evaluation, typically around the age of seven, allows us to identify potential issues and create a customized treatment plan tailored to your child’s unique situation. Early intervention can prevent more extensive and costly treatments in the future and contribute to a lifetime of confident smiles.

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we take pride in our patient-centered approach, focusing on your child’s comfort, communication, and individualized care. Our team is dedicated to creating a positive and enjoyable experience for your child during their orthodontic journey.

If you have questions about your child’s orthodontic needs or are ready to schedule their first visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to guide you through the process, address your concerns, and ensure your child receives the best possible care.

Choosing Scaffidi Orthodontics means choosing a trusted partner in your child’s oral health and the pursuit of a beautiful, confident smile. Together, we can set your child on the path to a lifetime of optimal oral health and self-assured smiles.