Questions Every Parent Should Ask their Child’s Orthodontist

There are a variety of reasons your child may need braces. It may be recommended by your orthodontist as a way of repairing your child’s bite or to prevent your child from a number of oral and dental problems in the future. As a parent it is important for you to be informed on the process and procedure your child will need to undergo. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask your orthodontist or your pediatric dentist that is trained to handle interceptive orthodontics:

How do I know if my child might need orthodontic treatment?

There are a few oral issues your child may have that are a sign he/she may need orthodontic attention. First, if your child has an overbite or underbite. This means that your child’s lower or upper teeth may extend beyond the norm. This can cause your child to bite into the roof of the mouth or cause them to have trouble eating. Another visible oral issue, is overcrowding of teeth. This happens when the teeth don’t appear to have enough space in the mouth. There are many more reasons why your child may need to see an orthodontist, but be sure to check with your primary dentist first and they will help inform you on the best oral treatment for your child.

What age should my child see an orthodontist?

Ideally, your child should see an orthodontist or a pediatric dentist trained to handle interceptive orthodontics around the age of 7 years old. By that age your child will have several permanent teeth and the specialist will be able to see if there are any problematic oral patterns beginning to form. This doesn’t necessarily mean that any treatment will need to happen right away, but it will provide a good indication of whether your child’s oral help may need help.

What if my child still has baby teeth?

Even if your child still has baby teeth present at the age of 7 it’s still a good idea to schedule your child for an orthodontic screening. This is because baby teeth pave the way for permanent teeth, and your orthodontist will be able to identify potential oral problems for your child by examining them.

What types of orthodontic treatment are there?

There are a few main types of orthodontic treatments. Your child may need one or a combination of these therapies in order to resolve their oral or dental problems, and your orthodontist or a pediatric dentist trained to handle interceptive orthodontics will be happy to recommend the best option. Some of these treatment options include:


-Jaw adjustment

-Retainers or aligners

-Palatal expanders

How long will my child’s orthodontic treatment take?

This depends on each child and their individual treatment process. Typically, for simple corrections and obedient patients who follow the advice of their orthodontist, the treatment takes between 12 to 18 months. If your child’s treatment is more complex it may take up to 36 months to complete the stages. Another aspect to consider is that the older your child is the longer it usually takes to achieve the alignment needed.

Our orthodontists at River Rock Dental are more than happy to answer your questions so please schedule your consultation today!


  1. Just came across this site and your blog. This is great information easy for everyone to understand. Education with informative easy to understand wording allows individuals to make better choices.
    Here in Bali it is a challenge since we mainly deal with multi cultured tourism and more often than not English is not the first language.
    I’ll come back here more often to read posts and get educated on how to educate :))

  2. I think the first point you brought up may be the most informative to me, knowing when my child would need orthodontic treatment. I’ll keep your advice in mind for identifying overbite or underbite in my kids. I think overcrowding of teeth is something that will be easy to see and I’ll have to keep an eye out for this and other potential dental issues as my kids get older. Thanks for the helpful info.

  3. Thank you for sharing this list of questions that parents should ask their child’s orthodontist! I’m going to take my daughter to the orthodontist for the first time next week, so I want to be prepared and know what to ask. I wouldn’t have thought to ask about baby teeth! I think my daughter still has a few, but I know she will be needing braces, so that’s definitely something I should ask. Thanks!

  4. I had no idea that a child should go and see an orthodontist around 7 years old. Personally, I never went until I was 12 or 13, so I just assumed that you needed to be older when your permanent teeth are all set in. This makes sense, though, because you can have a professional be looking at your child’s jaw and how the teeth are growing in, so that you can be prepared if they need braces down the road. Great advice! Thank you for sharing.

  5. It’s good to know that when it comes to our kids needing braces that there are ways that we can help make sure that this the right call. I am glad that you mentioned that if our kids still have baby teeth that it still might be a good idea to talk to a dentist about braces to see if they might be able to identify any potential problems. This is something that we will have to remember to ask their dentist when it comes to making sure that this will be the best idea for them.

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