Are you considering early orthodontic treatment for your child? If so, you are not alone. Some orthodontic practices have as many as 20% of their patients in the 7 to 10 age range!  The fact is, many developing orthodontic problems can be intercepted and corrected if diagnosed and treated at an early age. Many orthodontists and other dental professionals recommend children have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven, or younger if the front four permanent teeth have replaced the baby teeth. Early treatment, also known as interceptive treatment or Phase I treatment, provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

If any of the following points apply to your child, you may want to think about early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five or six, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 12 to 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking his or her thumb
  • Speech impediment
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Crowded front teeth
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all

Early intervention can reduce the severity of your child’s case, and therefore reduce the length of treatment time and cost for a second phase of treatment when all of his or her permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Horner and his staff can evaluate your child and determine if his or her dental and skeletal growth is proceeding properly or if interceptive treatment is needed. In many instances, a more severe problem can be corrected using sophisticated removable appliances instead of traditional orthodontic treatment.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Horner, please contact our office! You will receive a complimentary exam, and we’ll consult with you regarding any next steps deemed necessary toward caring for your child’s smile and dental health.


Dr Barrow

Dr. Barrow

Choosing an orthodontist is an important decision, but it should not be an overwhelming task. You want to make sure that both you and your child will be comfortable with the choice. Find an orthodontic specialist who is well-recommended, board certified, has a gallery of completed cases available for you to view, and one who is flexible and understands that your schedule is busy, too. Orthodontic Treatment is a serious venture, so it should be treated as such.

Talk to your dentist, and parents of your children’s friends! Word of mouth recommendations are usually the best way to start out a search for a new medical provider of any kind. Orthodontists know this, and good ones will make sure they cultivate relationships with patients and referring dentists.

Today, many general dentists have taken classes to offer braces or clear aligners (Invisalign®), but an orthodontist is still the best choice for orthodontic procedures.

General dentists are experts in diagnosis of dental decay, preventative dentistry and restoring, replacing and repairing teeth, while an orthodontist is an expert in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

Orthodontists should have two to three years of additional specialized orthodontics education accredited by the American Dental Association, and the best orthodontists are also board certified.

After finding a highly-recommended orthodontic practice, look at samples of their finished work and find out if the office is a good fit. Some practices have a gallery of smiles on their website, but the office will also have photos on display of patients who have completed treatment.

Call the office to get the basic information, find out if appointments are open for new patients, discuss insurance and financing policies and ask if they offer free consultations. That is the ideal time to discuss treatment goals and how much experience the orthodontist has in correcting specific problems.

Orthodontic treatment can be a lengthy process, and patients interact with the doctors on a nearly monthly basis, so make sure the orthodontic practice you choose is one you are comfortable with and confident about.


Dr. Kevin Horner

There are many, many details that go into selecting an orthodontic practice. Look closely at the details. Ask yourself:

• Who addresses the details for you both professionally and in support service?
• What is the atmosphere you sense when visiting the office?
• Were you treated the way you would choose to be treated?
• Did you walk away understanding the process?