We often get asked by parents who are worried about their kids teeth not coming through straight, when should I get them in to see an orthodontist?

As a parent, it can be concerning when you notice that your child’s teeth are not coming through straight. Misalignment or crooked teeth can affect both their oral health and self-esteem. In this article, we will discuss when you should consider seeking orthodontic treatment for your child and explore the option of early intervention, which some orthodontists recommend.

When to Seek Orthodontic Evaluation

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) and Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) recommend that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This age is ideal because the permanent teeth typically begin to erupt, and an orthodontist can assess their alignment and bite relationship. However, it is essential to note that not all children will require orthodontic treatment at this age. The initial evaluation helps identify any potential orthodontic issues and determines the appropriate timing for treatment, if needed.

Early Intervention: An Option to Consider

Early intervention, also known as interceptive orthodontics, involves addressing orthodontic issues in children at a younger age, often before all permanent teeth have erupted. Orthodontists who support early intervention believe that it can help guide proper jaw growth and prevent more severe problems from developing later. However, not all children will require early treatment, as each case is unique and depends on individual circumstances.

According to the ASO, some common orthodontic issues that may benefit from early intervention include:

  1. Crossbites: When the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, causing misalignment.
  2. Crowding: Insufficient space in the jaw for all permanent teeth to erupt properly.
  3. Protruding front teeth: When the upper front teeth protrude excessively, which can increase the risk of trauma.
  4. Skeletal discrepancies: Jaw growth imbalances that may require intervention to guide proper development.

Benefits of Early Intervention

Early orthodontic treatment can provide several potential benefits, such as:

  1. Correcting skeletal imbalances: Early intervention can help guide proper jaw growth and alignment, minimising the need for more invasive treatments, such as jaw surgery, in the future.
  2. Creating space: Addressing crowding issues early can create room for permanent teeth to erupt properly, reducing the likelihood of extraction later on.
  3. Reducing the risk of trauma: If front teeth protrude significantly, early intervention can help align them, reducing the risk of accidental injuries.

Consulting with an Orthodontist

If you notice that your child’s teeth are not coming through straight or have concerns about their dental alignment, it is advisable to consult with an orthodontist. They will evaluate your child’s oral health, dental development, and bite relationship to determine the appropriate timing for treatment.

The ADA and ASO recommend seeking treatment from a qualified orthodontist who is a registered specialist in orthodontics. Orthodontists undergo extensive training beyond dental school to specialise in diagnosing and treating orthodontic issues.

If your child’s teeth are not coming through straight, it is crucial to consider an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. Early intervention may be recommended in some cases to address specific orthodontic concerns and guide proper dental development. Consulting with an orthodontist will help determine the appropriate timing and treatment options tailored to your child’s unique needs.


Australian Dental Association. (n.d.). Orthodontics. Retrieved from https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Teens-12-17/Orthodontics

Australian Society of Orthodontists. (n.d.). Why see a specialist orthodontist? Retrieved from https://www.aso.org.au/why-see-a-specialist-orthodontist/

Australian Society of Orthodontists. (n.d.). Early Treatment: Interceptive Orthodontics. Retrieved from https://www.aso.org.au/docs/Consumer%20Documents/ASO_Early_Treatment_Patient_Flyer_FA%20A3%20(4).pdf

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2 Mellar Ct, Midland WA 6056 (map)