young children should see orthodontist

Dr. Manilla is a magician, but there’s no sleight of hand in the answer to this question.

We agree with the recommendations of the American Association of Orthodontics, the American Dental Association, and the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry that children see an orthodontist by age 7, before they have lost most of their baby teeth.

Few youngsters will actually need braces at this age, but if your child shows certain bite or alignment problems, early intervention may be able to prevent or reduce the need for braces or more invasive procedures in the future.

You may have noticed some of the problems your orthodontist will be looking for:

Crowded, crooked teeth, protruding or buck teeth, teeth that don’t meet.

You can see severely misaligned teeth, but sometimes a malocclusion is so subtle, only an orthodontist can tell. Baby teeth are placeholders for permanent teeth, and correctly aligned baby teeth help guide the adult teeth into their proper positions.

If your child’s bite is out of alignment, or teeth are missing, your orthodontist can sometimes take steps, such as inserting expanders or spacers, to ensure the permanent teeth erupt correctly. Other times, it might be better to postpone treatment until the child is older.

Difficulty in chewing or biting.

These problems are often a result of malocclusion or bad bite from a number of causes, including overbite, under bite and open bite. Starting treatment early may be beneficial.

Sucking thumb, fingers or pacifiers.

These habits, when prolonged, can cause teeth to shift or change the roof of the mouth. The American Dental Association recommends parents begin discouraging these behaviors after age four.

Speech difficulty.

If your child lisps or whistles when he talks, or has difficulty pronouncing some words, the reason could be misaligned or crooked teeth. You should have an orthodontist take a look.

Mouth breathing.

When we breathe through our noses, our tongues rest at the roof of our mouths. Until about age 12, this tongue position helps to correctly shape the palate.

Mouth breathing places the tongue in the wrong position, which may change the growth pattern of the face, mouth, tongue and neck. One result is misaligned teeth. If your child is a mouth breather, she should see an orthodontist as early as possible for corrective and preventive treatment.

Jaw or teeth that are out of proportion.

If you notice your child’s face appears to be unbalanced or asymmetrical, or his jaw appears too far forward or back, it may indicate an issue with the teeth or jaw that an orthodontist can correct. Aligning your child’s jaws can resolve many dental problems.


Most young children will not need braces, but there are some situations that will benefit from early orthodontic care. With early treatment, you may be able to spare your child years with an unattractive mouth or extensive orthodontic work when he’s older.

If your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late for a check-up.

Whatever orthodontic intervention your child needs, we guarantee they’ll smile from Dr. Manilla’s spontaneous magic tricks in the office – and you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity to enjoy a perfect, magical smile.

If you would like us to check your child’s orthodontic health, call our offices in West Chester or Hamilton. Our consultations, like our magic tricks, are free.

Your New Favorite Orthodontist in Hamilton, Ohio & Liberty Township, Ohio for Braces & Clear Aligners
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"Dr. Manilla and his staff are very amazing! They treated us like family. The office is very welcoming. Dr. Manilla and his staff did a excellent job on my daughter's teeth. She can't stop smiling! He is currently working on mine and I can't wait to see how beautiful mine will be. My other two children will as come to this office when they are ready for braces. I highly recommend Dr. Manilla's office. They are the best!"- Leslie M.
"We had an excellent experience with Dr. Manilla and his staff. I found their quote to be lower than a few others around our area. Over the last two years, they have been so flexible and kind as we have tried to schedule appts around school and sports. I have two more kids who might be potential candidates for orthodontics and we would definitely choose Dr. Manilla's office for their needs!"- Heather S.
"What a great experience we've had with Dr. Manilla and his team! My son got his braces off today and we are thrilled with the results. The customer service here is off the charts. Every single staff member is professional, kind and encouraging. Dr. Manilla especially is so fun-loving & truly has a heart for all of his patients. There were times throughout the process that my son needed to be "encouraged" to step up his game with his brushing... Dr. Manilla's staff handled this wonderfully. We highly recommend this team of professionals!"- Debbie B.
"Dr. Manilla and his entire staff provided me with way more than a beautiful smile. Throughout my wonderful experience I was treated with care, provided comfort and fully informed throughout the treatment. It will be hard to say goodbye to everyone at both offices that have taken such good care of me. Luckily every time I look in a mirror and smile I'm reminded of their exceptional work and attention to every detail."- Andrew B.
"Dr. Manilla and his staff are amazing. Always smiling, positive, and willing to help (and support you) in any way possible! They made my journey through (adult) braces a pleasant one! I am super thankful for the kind staff, Dr. Manilla's expertise and my beautiful new smile!"- Tekila F.
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*The reviews on this page are from actual patients of Manilla Orthodontics. Individual results may vary.
Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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Our 5-star-rated orthodontists in Hamilton, Ohio and Liberty Township, Ohio have transformed the smiles of over 10,000 patients. Manilla Orthodontics offers the most advanced braces and clear aligners for adults, teens and children. Our orthodontic care and treatment options include Clear Aligners, Metal Braces, Clear Braces, Children's Orthodontics and Surgical Orthodontics.
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