Early Start Orthodontics: Paving the Way for Lifelong Smiles

Guide your child to a healthy, straight smile with early intervention at Bourne Orthodontics.

Benefits of Early Start Orthodontics

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By intercepting early on, your child’s orthodontist focuses on the cause and guides your child’s teeth and jaw growth for a healthy, straight smile.

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Early intervention helps prevent more serious problems and dental procedures in the future, such as jaw surgery or teeth extraction.

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Early orthodontics uses the most comfortable treatment plan and helps make any future procedures easier, faster, and less expensive.

What Age Should Your Child Come For Their First Orthodontic Appointment?

We personally recommend scheduling their first visit by age 7!

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit to an orthodontist no later than age 7. By this age, they have a mix of baby (primary) and adult (permanent) teeth, which allows the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

For many children, this initial visit may simply be a check-up to monitor the development of the teeth and jaws. Treatment may not be necessary at this stage, but early examination can be beneficial for determining the best time to start any needed treatment. Some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re detected early, while the child’s jaw bones are still growing.

Help Prevent Crooked Teeth Before They Begin

An early ortho visit for your child prevents and treats serious misalignment problems.

Young patient getting orthodontic consult

As parents, we always want the best for our children and that includes protecting their smiles. To help ensure your child develops a healthy, beautiful smile, we recommend scheduling an early orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven or sooner if you see warning signs of malocclusion.

Early start orthodontics AKA interceptive orthodontics finds, prevents, and treats alignment issues in children with baby teeth. Some problems in kids are best treated at a young age to prevent issues from getting worse and more expensive to treat down the road.

Dental issues to look out for in kids:

  • Protruding teeth

  • Crossbite or underbite

  • Extra or missing teeth

  • Severe crowding or spacing

  • Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or mouth breathing

Whether it’s caused by an inherited problem, bad habits, an accident, or dental disease, we’re here to help your little one grow a confident and healthy smile!

How Early Intervention Works

Making treatments easier for kids with early orthodontics.

Young Kid Getting Dental Work Done

By planning ahead at Bourne Orthodontics in Lake Stevens, WA we set the foundation for a confident and functional smile your child will love. We’re here to help you make informed decisions that positively impact your child for the rest of their life.

  • Step 1
    At the initial consultation, we discuss your concerns and perform an exam of your child’s mouth. The process is quick and painless, and helps us determine what’s best for your child’s teeth and jaw development.
  • Step 2
    Together, we review the exam findings and any potential issues. Our orthodontist lets you know if any treatment or monitoring is required and outlines the recommended next steps.
  • Step 3
    If needed, we monitor your child’s development and proceed with treatment. Examples of treatment include a palatal expander, an appliance to guide teeth and jaw growth, or the removal of baby teeth.

Phase one early start orthodontics helps make room for permanent teeth and a comfortable bite. In some cases, phase two orthodontics may be required for permanent teeth, but treatment will most likely be easier due to our early intervention.

Welcome to the Bourne Family Spy Club – Where Fun Begins!

Young Kid Getting Dental Work Done

So, you’ve visited us for an exam but aren’t quite ready for orthodontic treatment? No worries – we’ve got something totally awesome in store for you! Welcome to our top-secret Growth Observation Program, where you become an exclusive member of our Spy Club.

As part of our Spy Club, you get to embark on thrilling missions every few months. Dr. Bourne will be your trusty sidekick, keeping an eye on your tooth and jaw development to make sure everything’s on track for your future superhero smile.

But here’s the best part – when you join the Spy Club, you’ll receive your very own Spy Kit! Inside, you’ll discover all the tools you need to become the coolest spy on the block. We’re talking secret rear-view glasses, a top-secret passport, spy-worthy note-taking equipment, and of course – your first top-secret mission!

We believe that every patient is part of our family, and that includes you – even if you’re not in active treatment yet. So, get ready to join the Bourne Family Spy Club, where fun, adventure, and maybe even a few surprises await!

See you on your next spy-tastic mission!

Young Kid Getting Dental Work Done

‘‘Our family has been so impressed by Bourne! They helped us navigate our oldest getting braces, which meant answering a ton of our questions and what-ifs with knowledge and confidence. The staff is ridiculously friendly and approachable, the appointments are super quick and the kids always look forward to seeing what special the office will have during their visits.. ice cream? hot chocolate bar? I highly recommend Bourne Orthodontics!’’

Heidi R

‘‘Dr Bourne and his staff are amazing! My end results of two years in braces was great! Highly recommend them to anyone! Recently referred my aunt and little cousin to Bourne ortho and they are so far very pleased with Dr.B and the staff as well. 🙂’’

Chantel H

‘‘Bourne Orthodontics has the most caring and friendly staff! My daughter was a patient there for over two years, and every visit we felt welcome and everyone really takes time to make sure you have all the info and supplies needed. I highly recommend Bourne Orthodontics!’’

Danielle Lofstedt

‘‘I LOVE Dr. Bourne and all of his staff. My children have been patients there for 10+ years- from headgear, to a spacer to both needing braces. Everyone here is so friendly, and treats each patient with so much kindness. I refer everyone I know to Dr. Bourne for orthodontic needs, I believe they are the best of the best! I can’t give enough praise to their team.’’

Sasha Alexander

FAQ about Early Orthodontics

  • What is early orthodontic treatment?
    Early start orthodontic treatment focuses on the growth and development of a young child’s smile, including the teeth and jaw. It’s designed to help kids who still have all or some of their primary teeth.

    We intercept and prevent improper alignment or growth of adult teeth. The goal is to create your child’s straight, beautiful, and functional smile in the easiest and most efficient way.

    A straight smile has the power to change your child’s life by boosting confidence and making hygiene easier.

  • How early is too early for braces?

    While braces and aligners help patients of all ages, including kids, teens, and adults, we recommend seeing an orthodontist at a young age.

    According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), every child should receive an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven or earlier if there are signs of crowding, large spacing, or abnormal growth of teeth.

    Every child is different, but the first permanent molars typically start to emerge around the age of six, allowing us to understand the basic alignment of your child’s teeth. This helps us determine if there’s enough room for adult teeth and if any monitoring or treatment is required.

  • When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?
    Every smile is unique, which means every orthodontic treatment is custom-made. The best time to start your child’s treatment plan depends on the existing issue and the child’s development.

    Our orthodontist works closely with you and your child to make treatments easier, less invasive, more effective, and more comfortable through early intervention. Schedule your young child’s first ortho visit to ensure you don’t miss an important window of opportunity.

  • What is the best age for braces?
    The best age for braces depends on the person. While many misalignment issues are treated with braces or aligners once all the permanent teeth erupt, some problems are best treated early during jaw development.

    Early start orthodontics helps prevent alignment issues from getting worse or more costly to treat in the future. This is also known as phase one orthodontics and focuses on the development of incoming teeth.

    Some cases require phase one and two treatment for kids, but the second part is typically much easier and shorter when combined with phase one. Phase two focuses on the alignment of permanent teeth and is sometimes completed on its own in older children and adults.

  • How do I know if my child needs braces?
    Some signs your child needs braces may be hard to spot, while others are easy to see. An orthodontist recognizes even the most subtle signs that your child needs braces, which is why we recommend scheduling a no-obligation consultation at Bourne Orthodontics in Lake Stevens, WA today.

    Problems to watch out for in children:

    • Protruding teeth
    • Crossbite or underbite
    • Extra or missing teeth
    • Severe crowding or spacing
    • Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or mouth breathing

First Orthodontic Visits for Kids

An orthodontist visit has the power to change your child’s life!