Did you know that the majority of orthodontic problems are not genetic? They are in fact caused by environmental factors, such as large tonsils and adenoids, allergies and habits such as thumb sucking and mouth breathing. These factors can lead to abnormal facial growth and crooked teeth.

The Optimal Time for Treatment – No later than Age 7

Early intervention, before the face is fully formed, can prevent the need for major orthodontic treatment later. In most children the face and jaws begin their major growth spurt at about age seven. It is therefore important that habits are corrected before this time. From age seven it is also possible to guide facial growth with orthopaedic appliances, ensuring the jaw is big enough to fit the erupting teeth and optimising facial aesthetics. Early assessment and treatment, if necessary, will result in optimal functional and aesthetic development of your child’s face and dentition.

Start Early for a Great Smile

Although many children are referred for orthodontic treatment by their dentist or dental nurse, often the first person to spot a problem is you, the parent. If you feel your child may need orthodontic treatment in the future, you should have them checked out early.

What to Look For

  • Difficulty breast feeding
  • Thumb sucking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Allergies or frequent upper respiratory illnesses
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Crowded or protruding teeth
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back
  • Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

Orthodontic Check before Age 7

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child is checked at the first recognition of the existence of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age seven.

After the age of seven there is a big growth spurt in the upper jaw. If your child needs treatment, Dr Sauer will be able to work with that growth to optimise the outcome. Dr Sauer may use appliances to guide the growing jaws to develop correctly – in a way that will not only result in a better smile and profile, but will make the later braces phase quicker and easier for your child.

There are a number of different phases of treatment which may be recommended at different ages depending on the needs of your child. If earlier phases are completed successfully, it may reduce the need for or the time involved in follow up stages of treatment.

Oral Myology Training

Optimal Age 2 – 7

  • eliminates aberrant oral habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
  • trains in correct nasal breathing
  • teaches ideal tongue positioning at rest and during swallowing
  • strengthens and extends upper lip

Orthopaedic Appliances

Optimal Age 7 – 9

  • guides jaw growth in desired direction
  • ensures jaw size is sufficient to accommodate teeth
  • allows for a broad smile and a great profile


Optimal Age 9 – 14

  • straightens teeth
  • aligns teeth and jaws
  • guides permanent teeth into a more favourable position

For Your Child’s Future

With straight teeth and a well aligned bite, your child will look and feel good. A great smile gives them the confidence they need as they grow into adulthood.

Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment. But if your child does need help, a check-up no later than age seven will allow us to provide the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time. So do not wait until your child has lost all of their baby teeth but book now for your child’s first Orthodontic Check-up.

Orthodontics at Dental Artistry

The goal of our orthodontic treatment at Dental Artistry is to create full, wide smiles, with straight teeth, beautiful facial aesthetics, and healthy jaw joints.