Early Treatment & Braces for Kids

We help you make the best decisions for your child’s smile, health and quality of life.

Our orthodontists, Dr. Scarborough and Dr. Loflin, have years of experience caring for young children in early orthodontic treatment.

When is the best age to get braces?

The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) recommends that children first see an orthodontist as early as age seven. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results that can benefit your child for a lifetime.

The healthiest and most beautiful smiles start with great beginnings!

Monitoring Your Children’s development

- at No Cost to You

At your first visit, Dr. Scarborough or Dr. Loflin will evaluate your child’s growth and development and create a customized plan for your child’s treatment.

In many cases, an early phase of treatment is not needed—and we will never recommend unnecessary treatment. In these cases, your orthodontist will follow your child’s growth and development as much or as little as you desire, to ensure proper balance and healthy development between the jaws and teeth.

We provide this growth monitoring service for children as a courtesy, at no cost to you.

and any upcoming events!

We offer expert treatment recommendations that are knowledgeable and customized to our young patients’ needs on an individual basis. We’re proud to place a higher value on what is best for your child, not what is profitable for us.

The Goal

of Early Orthodontic Treatment

The goal of early treatment is to develop the jaws to allow the most ideal dental development, and create the best foundation for your child’s future bite and smile.

Enhancing the growth of the jaw and correcting certain bite concerns early (such as an underbite, crossbite or crowding) eliminates the need for more aggressive lengthy forms of treatment, including permanent tooth extractions and surgical orthodontics.

The following orthodontic problems indicate a need for early orthodontic treatment or braces for kids:

  • Teeth growing in crowded, crooked or overlapping
  • Too much space between the teeth
  • Jaw growth inconsistencies or disproportions
  • Protruding teeth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Thumb sucking habits or tongue-thrusting habits

Beginning necessary orthodontic treatment at an early age can lead to increased self-esteem and improved functionality, including breathing, sleeping (expansion treatment), and chewing.

An early assessment of your child’s growth will give you the peace of mind that your child is thriving.

Our highly-trained and energetic team will provide you and your child with a fun and informative initial exam, and will discuss the best steps to take to support your child in developing a beautiful smile!


Early Orthodontic Treatment

If necessary or beneficial, early orthodontic treatment—also known as Phase I—typically will begin between ages 7-9, and Phase II treatment will begin around age eleven or older.

The purpose of Phase I treatment is to prepare the mouth for a beautiful set of permanent teeth to emerge in a healthy alignment by creating a strong foundation. The first phase of treatment may include an orthodontic appliance, often a palatal expander, to promote proper development of the jaw bones.

Phase I treatment focuses on building a strong foundation for permanent teeth to grow, with regards to esthetics and function. Phase II treatment is designed to straighten the teeth, align the jaw bones, and create a healthy and radiant smile.

Phase II treatment may include a full treatment of Invisalign® or braces, along with an appliance. After both phases of treatment, your child will wear a retainer to maintain their beautiful results for years to come.

At your child’s complimentary consultation, we’ll thoroughly examine his or her smile to determine the most effective approach.

Still Have Questions

about braces for kids?

We’re here to answer your questions! It’s important to us that we make you feel comfortable and provide you with the information you need to undergo a smooth, successful orthodontic treatment.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re committed to providing the highest quality of patient care in the area.

Request your complimentary exam

with the highest-reviewed orthodontists in Richmond, VA to begin a life-changing journey.