At What Age Should My Child First See an Orthodontist?

By Dr. Tarek O. Zaki, D.D.S.

Children and Orthodontics



Parents want to know what age they should bring their child to an orthodontist. Learn the age recommendations and what will happen during your child’s first visit.



At What Age Should My Child First See an Orthodontist?


Your child should see an orthodontist as early as the age of seven, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). This gives the orthodontist the opportunity to examine your child’s teeth and jaw, so problems can be identified early and treatment planning can be optimized. If no early problems are identified, this good news can give you peace of mind. You can wait until their adult teeth have come in, around the age of 9, to discuss braces or other orthodontic options with your orthodontist. None of these are exact ages, so talk to an orthodontist. Dr. Zaki and many other orthodontists provide such consultations free of charge.


When you take your child to see the orthodontist, the doctor will perform an examination, take special x-rays and get medical and dental health history. Your orthodontist is educated and trained to understand what goes on in the normal growth process and development of the face and teeth. This allows him or her to predict and intercept most of the problems that may be more complex and costly to orthodontisttreat in the future.


An orthodontist may also be able to treat other orthodontic issues common to children that occur because of thumb sucking, early or late loss of baby teeth, mouth breathing or tongue thrusting. If one of these describes your child or you notice changes in your child’s teeth or bite, you should contact your child’s orthodontist for an examination.


Regardless of your child’s age, you should take them to an orthodontist if they experience or have any of the following:

  • Difficulty biting, chewing or speaking
  • Protruding teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Mouth breathing
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Inability to close mouth easily and comfortably
  • Shifting jaws
  • Noises made by jaw opening and closing
  • Biting cheek or roof of mouth inadvertently


Straight teeth are important for both the health and self-esteem of your child. At what age should your child first see an orthodontist? It should be as early as 7 years old. For more information about the benefits of straight teeth, click here to read our blog, Top 5 Benefits of Having Straight Teeth.


Dr. Zaki is an educated, trained and experienced orthodontist serving patients in Virginia Beach and the surrounding cities. To schedule an appointment for your child’s first examination, give us a call at 757-416-1100.

Don’t forget to call us for a 2nd opinion!


Zaki Orthodontics in Virginia Beach Virginia is the practice of Dr. Tarek O. Zaki, D.D.S. He is an experienced orthodontist providing braces, Invisalign® and other orthodontic services to Virginia Beach and the surrounding cities in Hampton Roads, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Portsmouth Virginia. Dr. Zaki offers free, comprehensive, 2nd opinion examinations. For a full list of Zaki Orthodontics’ treatments and services click here. Click here to request an appointment online or call for a consultation. 757-416-1100


Images courtesy of by stockimages (girl with braces) and photostock (brushing teeth).