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Early Orthodontic Treatment: Why?

For almost a century, hundreds of professional publications have demonstrated the need for early orthodontic diagnosis and treatment beginning at ages 3 to 8. Even so, the average age to start orthodontics in the U.S. is still a late 11-12 years old. Early orthodontics between ages 3 to 8 uses a special window-of-time-opportunity to make space for adult teeth. Making space early may reduce or eliminate the need for further orthodontic treatment, tooth extraction surgery, and even jaw surgery, at a later age. Early treatment can save time, save money, be simpler, and also be more stable. Dental professionals that oppose early treatment at ages 3-8 often have little or no experience providing it. They also ignore research that supports it. The upper and lower jaws are about 80% grown at age 6 and 90% grown by age 8, so treatment after age 8 can be too late. It is important for parents to know that designing a beautiful broad smile can be better when done early, than if done too late.

1945 At age 20 months, research found that when the 1st baby molars erupt, malocclusion can be predicted. (SOURCE: Second Dist. Dent Soc.)
1932 At age 2, research found that rotated permanent incisors seen on x-rays, in bone under baby teeth, did not grow in straight at age 6, when untreated. (SOURCE: International Journal of Orthodontics, Oral Surgery & Radiology)
1990 At age 2½, research found that over-bite is predictable and it remains an over-bite at age 18, when untreated. (SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry)
1959 At age 5, research found that available space (or lack of it) can predict adult malocclusion crowding. (SOURCE: The dentition of the growing child, Harvard University Press)
1973 At age 6, research found that crowding in teeth did not improve by itself at age 12, when untreated. (SOURCE: Trans. European Orthodontic Society 49th Congress)
1961 At age 8, research found that over-bite malocclusion remains constant to adulthood, when untreated. (SOURCE: Angle Orthodontist Journal)
1973 At age 8, research found that 89% of crowded incisors were still crowded at age 14, when untreated. (SOURCE: American Journal of Orthodontics)
1938 Research found that cross-bite malocclusions stayed the same 80% of the time, when untreated. (SOURCE: Inaugural Dissertations, Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhems-Universitat, Bonn)
1944 Research found that 76-89% of major baby teeth malocclusions got worse as adult teeth grew in. (SOURCE: American Journal of Orthodontics and Oral Surgery)
1952 Research found that when there were no spaces between the baby teeth, 69% had crowded adult teeth. (SOURCE: Angle Orthodontist Journal)
1969 Research found that crowded baby incisors give 100% chance of adult teeth crowding, when untreated. Research found that no spaces between baby incisors gives 67% chance of adult teeth crowding, untreated. Research found that under 3 mm. of space between baby incisors gives 50% chance of adult teeth crowding. (SOURCE: Rep. Congress European Orthodontic Society)
1976 Research found that treating at an early age reduced relapse and crowding. (SOURCE: Gallerno Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle)
1995 Early orthodontic treatment can be simpler, shorter and more favorable than treating at a later age. (SOURCE: The Bulletin of Tokyo Dental College)
2000 Early orthodontic treatment is effective and desirable in specific situations. (SOURCE: Journal of the American Dental Association)
2006 Research found that it is very important and more stable to correct malocclusion cross-bites at an early age. (SOURCE: Public Health Department, Cardenal Herrara-CEU University, Valencia, Spain)

Learn more about What early orthodontic treatment is all about.


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