Orthodontic Treatment and Braces for Children

If you’re a parent or guardian, I’m sure you’ll agree that your child’s health and happiness are of the utmost importance. Naturally, you want to ensure that they have the best possible start to life, and the development of their teeth plays a pivotal role in this.

In line with guidance from The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), we recommend that all children have an initial orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7, or earlier if an orthodontic problem arises.

Timing is everything. With years of experience on our side, Perfect Smiles are here to provide your child with the opportunity to have a healthy and beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.

Treatment Options

Orthodontic treatment is much more than just teeth straightening. It can help with crooked, overcrowded, gapped, and sticking out teeth as well as overbites, crossbites, and underbites.
Before you undertake any orthodontic treatment, it’s important to understand what can and cannot be achieved. While braces work at any age, some structural changes cannot be accomplished without orthognathic surgery to amend the shape and position of the jaw.
During your consultation, the orthodontist will set out exactly what’s possible and recommend a treatment path that’s tailored to your goals. Thankfully, there’s more than one route to straight teeth and there has never been more treatment options available.

Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME)

Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME) is a tool that widens a narrow upper jaw and fixes a crossbite, where upper teeth bite inside lower teeth. Children with crossbite often have facial asymmetry. Early correction of crossbite allows normal and symmetrical jaw development. RME also makes room for teeth.

Carriere Motion 3D Appliance

The Carriere® 3D Motion Appliance is a refined and polished metal device that securely fastens to your child’s upper canine tooth and permanent first molar on both sides of their mouth. To ensure its stability, we will connect the Carriere® Appliance to the lower teeth with rubber bands and tooth anchors.

Orthodontic Plate

An orthodontic plate refers to a firm acrylic or plastic apparatus that is positioned behind and around either the top or bottom teeth, or both. It contains wires, screws, and springs that work together to delicately shift the teeth into more desirable positions. Additionally, it can serve as a passive stabilizer to maintain the current teeth’s position as new adult teeth emerge in your child’s mouth.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Paediatric orthodontic treatment is about making the most of your child’s teeth. Early evaluation and timely intervention allow problems to be addressed before they get too advanced. In turn, this can reduce or prevent the need for further treatment when children are older.

Although orthodontic braces work at any age, they are generally more effective on children, especially when the problem involves both their teeth and jaw. As children, the jawbone is still supple and is easy to guide into the correct position. Once adulthood arrives and our bones are fully developed, orthodontic treatment is much harder and slower. In this sense, prudent intervention guides growth and development, which can prevent serious problems later in life.

for Children

Generally speaking, there are three possible outcomes of an early orthodontic evaluation: no treatment is necessary, treatment may be necessary in the future, or there is evidence of an orthodontic problem that requires early treatment.


If early intervention is recommended for your child, braces are the best solution. Although there is a plethora of fixed and removable braces available, they all operate on the same principle. Through continuous pressure and regular adjustments, the teeth and jaw are slowly moved into a specific, well-aligned position.


The optimum age to get braces varies from patient to patient, but treatment is most effective when a child has lost most of their primary (baby) teeth. This usually occurs between the ages of 7 and 14.


In some cases, however, it may be beneficial for an orthodontist to intervene before your child’s permanent teeth come through. This is called interceptive orthodontics and typically involves two stages: an earlier stage focused on skeletal correction and a latter stage focused on dental correction.

When it comes to kids braces, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. As such, there are several treatment options available. If your child has malocclusion, appliances such as a rapid maxillary expander (RME) or an orthodontic plate may be necessary to adjust the shape and positioning of their jaw. Additionally, metal or ceramic train tracks, Incognito lingual braces, or Invisalign clear aligners can be used to straighten your child’s smile.


Without an initial consultation, it is difficult to say how much your child’s braces will cost. As with all orthodontics, the price depends on a variety of circumstances including the complexity, duration, and type of treatment. At Perfect Smile Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing a range of treatment options that are suitable for all budgets.

Of course, the decision to get braces is entirely in the hands of you and your child. If your child isn’t ready for braces right now, treatment can be deferred until a later date. But it’s worth bearing in mind that orthodontic treatment is generally quicker and more effective the younger your child is.

Early Orthodontics FAQ


Research by the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests that a child’s first orthodontic check-up should be performed no later than the age of 7.


Why age 7?


By the age of 7, your child’s first adult molars should have erupted. This establishes their posterior occlusion and reveals a wealth of information about the relationship between their upper and lower jaw.


In turn, this information can be used to highlight potential problems and prepare a roadmap for future treatment. Timely screening enables problems to be eliminated quickly and efficiently.


Interceptive orthodontic treatment is based on the premise that it is more logical to prevent the occurrence of an abnormality rather than waiting until it is fully developed. In simple terms, it covers any procedure that is aimed at preventing, eliminating, or reducing the severity of malocclusions. It’s most commonly performed on children while some of their primary (baby) teeth are still present, typically between the ages of 7 and 10 years old.


Interceptive treatment is often split into two stages: phase one is aimed at skeletal correction and phase two is aimed at dental correction. Although early intervention doesn’t eliminate the need for future treatment when children get older, it often helps to simplify it. In extreme cases, early intervention prevents the need for complex orthodontic treatment such as permanent tooth extraction or orthognathic surgery.


According to research by the American Board of Orthodontics, the main benefits of interceptive orthodontic treatment are:

  1. Greater ability to modify growth,
  2. Improved patient and parental satisfaction,
  3. Better and more stable results,
  4. Future treatment is less extensive,
  5. Reduced potential for tooth damage.

Identifying your child’s need for interceptive orthodontic treatment allows problems to be dealt with efficiently. It is estimated that between 10 and 20% of children who are screened would benefit from early treatment. Signs that your child may need orthodontic treatment include:

  • Difficulty eating or biting i.e. your child bites food using their molars instead of their incisors.
  • Thumb sucking or pacifier use past the age of 6.
  • Biting or chewing the inside of their cheeks.
  • Difficulty closing the lips properly.
  • Breathing through the mouth rather than the nose.

Early interceptive treatment can be used to ameliorate all types of malocclusion – from minor misalignments to severe crossbites. More specifically, orthodontic treatment can help with:

  • Crowded teeth,
  • Teeth that don’t make contact,
  • Excessively spaced teeth,
  • Misshapen or angled teeth,
  • Teeth that are coming through in the wrong position,
  • Early or late loss of primary milk teeth.

Likewise, traditional train track braces can be customized to make the orthodontic experience much more fun and engaging for your child. At each appointment, they can choose the colour of the elastic that surrounds each brace bracket. Whether they prefer bubble gum pink or fire truck red, there are tons of different colours to choose from.


In a perfect set of teeth, the upper jaw should slightly overlap the lower jaw so that the ridges of the upper molars fit into the grooves of the lower molars. Any deviations away from this paradigm are called malocclusions.


Malocclusions typically fall into one of three categories: neutral, overbite, or underbite. If untreated, they can negatively impact the health and functioning of your child’s teeth. In severe cases, your child may struggle to chew properly, develop speech problems such as lisping, and be more prone to tooth decay or gum disease.


The goal of interceptive treatment is to eliminate orthodontic problems before they become too extreme. Fortunately, braces aren’t the only way to achieve this. Depending on the needs of your child and the complexity of their malocclusions, other types of treatment include:

  • Interceptive extractions,
  • Jaw expansion with a Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME),
  • Bite correction with an Orthodontic Plate.

With a detailed assessment and consultation, our team of orthodontic specialists can come up with a plan to give your child the smile they deserve.

To find out more, get in touch today!

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