How do I know if my child needs orthodontic treatment?

It can be difficult to know if orthodontic treatment for children is necessary at a glance. Sometimes teeth that are straight need treatments, and teeth that appear complex and in need of attention can naturally resolve all on their own.

Oftentimes, a general dentist practitioner’s exam can be a good indicator, but we specialize in orthodontic treatment and would be happy to perform an exam to let you know the best treatments for your child.

Are there early symptoms of orthodontic problems?

A visual inspection isn’t always accurate; however, below are a few clues that should make you consider allowing Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics to perform an exam.

  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth have gaps or are overlapping
  • When child’s teeth are naturally clenched, see if their top teeth align with the bottom teeth
  • Top teeth protrude away from the bottom teeth
  • Top teeth hide more than 50% of bottom teeth
  • Top teeth hide behind bottom teeth
  • Jaw shift when child bites

What age is most best for children to visit a professional orthodontist? Is there an age that's too old?

Age is never a factor with Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics. If a child shows any concern for orthodontics from early on all the way to adults needing orthodontic care, we strive to serve anyone in need of orthodontic treatment.

It's recommended and highly beneficial for children, seven years of age, be evaluated to detect problems early.

Is visiting the orthodontist painful?

Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics takes advantage of the most modernly improved methods and treatments.

Today, most options may inflict a little discomfort when getting used to the new appliance inside your mouth, but most treatments do not require painful methods.

If my child is missing teeth, can orthodontic treatments still work?

Yes, sometimes the missing tooth can cause additional issues. To prevent it, we can still perform treatments for maximum results.


I often hear about Phase I and Phase II orthodontic treatments – what are they?

Interceptive Treatment, or frequently known as Phase I, often starts when a child has most baby teeth and their permanent incisors. This usually occurs in children around seven years of age.

The number one goal in Phase I treatment is to reduce or eliminate moderate to severe orthodontic problems early on by intercepting the potential issues. Phase II generally occurs in children around 12 years of age who have at least 12-16 permanent teeth erupted to perform treatments.

Does every child require Phase I orthodontic treatments?

Not at all. Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics only performs Phase I treatments in specific circumstances.

Most orthodontic treatments can and should wait until the child has more permanent teeth.

If my child should need Phase I Treatments, can I wait until my child is older?

Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics strongly recommend you do not wait.

When the issues require early intervention, the problem will get worse as the child ages, which in turn will require additional and more aggressive treatment.

How long do orthodontic treatments last?

Each patient and each circumstance varies. Treatments could be completed in as little as six months or over two years.


What braces options do you offer?

We offer many different types of braces, including traditional wire braces, which can be customized with colored bands for more color.

  • We also offer Damon Self-Ligating Braces which are similar to traditional braces, but do not utilize elastics.
  • Damon Clear Braces are more suitable for teens or adults, as their materials require more oral care, but they are less noticeable.
  • Invisalign, which are aligner are helpful to make treatments far less noticeable and also to make it easier to eat, drink and perform daily oral hygiene.
  • Invisalign Teen, the same great aligners, but made for teens.


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