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When Should My Child See An Orthodontist?

Dr. Wes Chladny of Spring Hill’s Dr. Wes Orthodontics answers parents’ questions and concerns regarding their child’s orthodontic care.

Q: “When should my child see an orthodontist for the first time?”

Dr. Wes says:

Great question! We like to see children receive an orthodontic evaluation at age seven or eight. This is consistent with the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). By age seven or eight, some of the permanent front teeth have erupted and an orthodontist can evaluate dental and facial development and give parents feedback.

Let me emphasize, most children do not require treatment at this age and you should not expect that the first evaluation appointment will end with your child in braces. For most children in our practice, growth and development continues to be monitored with complimentary observation visits once or twice a year. However, some children do benefit from treatment of very specific problems at or around this age. If a problem is detected, this early evaluation will allow the orthodontist to recommend the most appropriate treatment at the most ideal time for your growing child.

Most orthodontists offer complimentary orthodontic evaluations, so the only investment you have to make for this service is about a half-an-hour to an hour of time. It’s a great deal for some peace of mind. We always offer complimentary evaluations in our practice and you do not need a referral from your dentist to schedule one. Hope that helps!

Additional Information from AAO

The American Association of Orthodontists lists the following conditions as ones that may be well-suited for early treatment. Keep in mind, Dr. Wes evaluates these (and all) conditions on a case-by-case basis.

  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Crossbites – when the upper teeth are inside of the lowers
  • Functional shift – when the jaw shifts to one side as the teeth come together
  • Very crowded teeth
  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or don’t meet at all
  • Thumb-, finger- or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth

Free Consultations + Special Offer for New Patients

Dr. Wes is currently offering a special promotion for new patients. Call (615) 282-5038 for more information. As always, initial consultations are free. For more info visit

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