Orthodontics for Kids

Your child deserves a healthy and beautiful smile

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children receive an orthodontic evaluation by age seven. Because signs of orthodontic issues may be obvious in a child whose mouth and jaw are still developing, early intervention is crucial to preventing major orthodontic problems in the future. Some issues that benefit greatly from early orthodontic intervention include making space for permanent teeth, aligning the upper and lower jaws, and correcting abnormal swallowing or prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking.

Two Phase Treatment

After your child’s consultation with our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Parul Sangwan, she may recommend a two-phase treatment. As its name implies, this type of treatment occurs in two phases: the first phase in childhood while baby teeth are still present and the second phase in adolescence when all or most of the permanent teeth have erupted.

What to Expect


Phase 1 begins around age eight to ten when a child still has some baby teeth.

Every child’s orthodontic needs are different. Depending on what needs to be treated, we may recommend braces or fixed/removable appliances. The goal is to provide the best foundation for further dental development and physical growth.


After phase 1, we have a resting period, which allows for most or all of the permanent teeth to erupt.

Before moving on to phase 2 of the orthodontic treatment, we must allow time for the developing permanent teeth to emerge into the more ideal positions we prepared in Phase 1. As this may not be the final position of the permanent teeth, retainers are usually not placed to allow for movement.


Phase 2 starts when most or all of the permanent teeth have erupted.

With all or most of the permanent teeth now in, the goal of this phase is to move them into their final positions so that we can ensure proper tooth function, jaw alignment and beautiful aesthetics. This may be achieved with a variety of methods including traditional metal braces, clear aligners or ceramic braces.


Last step is retention.

Teeth will always continue to shift, so a retainer is needed to keep them in the final position. Dr. Sangwan will give you options for retainers, e.g. fixed or removable, and instructions on wearing them. She will also let you know if any additional follow-up appointments are needed.

Common Questions

How do I know if my child needs orthodontic care?

Some signs that your child may need orthodontic care include:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty Chewing or Biting
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Facial Imbalance
  • Cheek Biting
  • Jaws Shifting or Clicking
What if my child is younger/older than 7 – is it too early/late for an orthodontic check-up?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first exam with an orthodontist no later than age 7. But if your child is younger than 7 and you notice something appears “off”, it is not necessary to wait until age 7. If your child is older than age 7, it’s not too late to get an orthodontic checkup either. Your child can benefit from an orthodontic checkup at any age.

Do I need a referral from a dentist/pediatric dentist for my child to see an orthodontist?

No, you do not need to wait to get a referral for your child to see an orthodontist. If you have a concern about your child’s teeth or jaws, please contact our office for a consultation with our board-certified orthodontist.

Will my child's teeth straightened out as they grow?

No, unfortunately your child’s teeth will not straightened out as they grow. This is because the space available for permanent front teeth will not increase as your child gets older. For most people, after the permanent molars come in at age 12, there is even less space available for the front teeth which can lead to orthodontic problems such as protruding or crooked teeth.

Furthermore, untreated orthodontic problems can become worse, and more difficult to treat as a child gets older. Untreated problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, broken front teeth and loss of bone tissue that holds teeth in place.

Why move baby teeth?

Baby teeth are there to hold space for permanent teeth, help with facial development, and allow for biting, chewing and clear speech. In two phase treatment, it’s important to move baby teeth in order to create a healthy environment for which the permanent teeth can grow into.

If treatment is done while my child has some baby teeth, does that mean s/he is done with treatment?

No, not necessarily. After phase I treatment, which is done while your child still has some baby teeth, there is a resting period in which most or all of the permanent teeth are allowed to grow in. Then our board-certified orthodontist will determine if your child needs a second phase of treatment. In most cases, patients will require a second phase of treatment in order to complete the teeth/jaw alignment started in phase I.

Contact Us



30 Central Park South
Suite 2C
New York, NY 10019