Early Orthodontics Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends, and Dr. Greenberg and our team agree, that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven, or whenever the permanent teeth start to erupt. At this point, Dr. Greenberg will evaluate whether your child will need orthodontic treatment.

Early treatment (also known as Phase One) typically begins around age eight or nine (Phase Two will begin around age 11 or older). The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, improves on future jaw stability, and decreases the chances of orthognathic surgery or extractions.

Does your Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?


Talk to Dr. Greenberg if you notice any of these symptoms in your child:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Your child continues sucking his or her thumb after age five
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (cross-bites)
  • Crowded front teeth at age seven or eight
  • Large tonsils and adenoids
  • Large tooth size versus jaw size

The Benefits of Early Treatment


  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches
  • Make space for permanent teeth
  • Reduce the need for extraction of permanent teeth
  • Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
  • Correct thumb sucking or other potentially debilitating habits
  • Eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems

To determine whether or not your child needs early orthodontic treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenberg at our orthodontic office. Located in Altadena, north of Pasadena near Los Angeles.