Orthodontics for Children
The Australian Society of Orthodontists advises parents to have their children assessed by a specialist orthodontist from around age 7. No referral from a general dentist is required. As an experienced, fully-qualified specialist orthodontist, Dr Fine has an expert eye for identifying early signs of orthodontic issues. Early diagnosis and timely intervention can ensure that your child’s orthodontic treatment is as straightforward and easy as possible. In some cases, early intervention can mean that braces at a later stage can be avoided altogether.
Does my Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?
The best time for kids to start orthodontic treatment is very individual, and dependent on your child’s unique needs. From around 7 years old, your orthodontist will be able to screen your child for developing issues before they become bigger problems.
It’s most likely that all your child will need is an examination at this stage. There are, however, a small percentage of children who will benefit from intervention from their very first visit. We won’t know which group your child is in unless we ‘screen’ them - that is, see them for that initial examination.
Should We Wait Until All the Permanent Teeth are in?
Parents and guardians often wonder if they should wait until all their child’s permanent teeth are in place. In fact, the opposite is true - depending on your child’s orthodontic needs, there is often a significant advantage, or ‘window of opportunity’, that is only available for a short time, during certain periods of dental growth and facial development. For this reason, the best time for your child’s first orthodontic visit is when facial bones are still developing, and there is a mix of adult and permanent teeth still in place.
In some cases, early intervention can reduce the likelihood of more invasive or complex treatments being indicated at a later stage. Left untreated, some orthodontic problems may otherwise require permanent tooth extractions, or even jaw surgery for full correction to be achieved.
What Age is Best for My Child to Get Braces?
A children’s orthodontist looks at facial and tooth development rather than age when determining the best time to start treatment. In most cases, non-braces treatments are used for early orthodontic treatment.
One exception is ‘partial braces’; where orthodontic braces are placed on just a few teeth. This is sometimes an option:
If alignment (e.g.,‘buck teeth’) or bite problems are exposing teeth to an increased risk of trauma, or when a parent or guardian has requested early correction because their child is self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth.
In cases where clearance is required for other types of orthodontic appliances to work correctly. An example is where a functional appliance is planned to bring the lower jaw forward, however retruded (‘leaning in’) upper teeth need to be moved out the way first.
Even where braces are discussed as an option, your child may still be able to consider a braces alternative, such as a removable plate or clear aligner instead, such as Invisalign® First or FineLine® .
Treatment Options for Children's Orthodontics
Since braces aren’t usually used in early orthodontic treatments at Fine Orthodontics, you may be wondering what sort of treatment options may be recommended. Preventative treatment may be as simple as early removal of a milk tooth. Other possible treatments include orthodontic plates, functional appliances, expanders (rapid maxillary expanders), bite jumpers and holding arches.
Having a world-class on-site lab at Fine Orthodontics allows us a high degree of control to ensure that your child's orthodontic appliance is completely customised to their needs, and can be easily adjusted at any time.
At Fine Orthodontics, you can learn more different types of early orthodontic treatment appliances, including how they may benefit your child.
What Sorts of Problems Can Early Orthodontic Treatment Correct?
Whilst sometimes a parent or guardian can spot a bite or alignment problem developing, usually it will take an experienced specialist to identify a potential issue, and take action to prevent the issue becoming a substantial and more difficult problem, thereby avoiding more costly treatment being required.
Below are some of the problems that can lead to abnormal development of the teeth and jaws:
Habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
Tooth loss patterns - too early or too late
Tooth crowding, buck teeth or crooked teeth (including teeth that are ‘blocked out’)
Upper and lower teeth that aren’t meeting properly
Jaws that are out of alignment with each other
Teeth that are impacted or trapped under the gum
An incorrect bite, including a bite ‘slide’ that can cause the face to grow asymmetrically
Missing permanent teeth (sometimes can only be picked up with an X-ray)
Adult teeth heading into the wrong place under the gums, potentially damaging roots of other teeth
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
A summary of the benefits of early orthodontic treatment that may apply to your child include:
Reduce or eliminate the need for permanent tooth extractions
Manage harmful oral habits
Encourage balanced jaw growth and promote facial symmetry
Reduce the likelihood of jaw surgery becoming indicated for full correction
Assist with speech development
Simplify later treatment
Reduce tooth wear over the long-term
Improvement to long-term bite and alignment stability
Reduce the incidence of impacted teeth
Maintain space or create space for permanent teeth
Reduce the risk of trauma to front teeth that “stick out” or protrude
Assist with normal airway development (including reducing the likelihood of sleep apnea developing)
In some cases, early orthodontic treatments can mean that no treatment at all is needed at a later stage. In other cases, a course of full braces may still be required to fine-tune the bite and alignment once all the permanent teeth have come through the gums.
Any additional orthodontic treatment needed once the majority of permanent teeth have erupted is usually faster and easier where it has been preceded by early orthodontic treatment.
Learn more about Sydney orthodontics:
Check orthodontic before and after photos to see treatments results.
Discover further information regarding orthodontic jaw surgery in Sydney.
Explore common orthodontic problems and solutions to fix them.
What is orthodontics? Learn more by reading our blog post.
Need orthodontic treatment? Check out our offer.
Read more about preventive orthodontics and preventive treatments.
Are you looking for top orthodontists in Sydney? Read our guide on how to choose the best orthodontists.
Discover how an orthodontic plate works.
Looking for the best orthodontist Bondi Junction? Call our clinic in Sydney.
Looking for teen orthodontic care? Reach out to a Fine Orthodontics clinic near you.
When should my child see an orthodontist? Read tips from our clinic.
Discover the difference between orthodontics and advanced orthodontics.
Any questions? Read our FAQs - Fine Orthodontics specialists cover all the most important topics.
Seeking urgent orthodontic care? Reach out to us for prompt assistance.
New to orthodontics? Check our orthodontic appointment guide.
View before and after images of dental exposure treatments performed at Fine Orthodontics.
Find out what the Wilckodontics treatment is.
Do I need a referral to see an orthodontist? Read our blog post.
Understanding Your Child’s Orthodontic Diagnosis and Early Orthodontic Treatment Options
Whilst being given the option of early treatment does not obligate you to begin treatment right away, it allows you to understand your child’s situation, risks and options.
If the outcome of your initial assessment is that your child may benefit from early intervention, we’ll take into account your unique situation, your child’s development, and the severity of the problem to help you to understand the pros and cons of different options in order to make your decision.
An early orthodontic assessment can help to ensure that your child stays on course for a healthy, beautiful smile.
Can my Dentist Monitor for Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Parents are often unsure of the difference between an orthodontist and dentist. Both of these dental professionals can work together to improve overall oral health, however their roles are quite different.
As a skilled general practitioner, your dentist plays an essential role in the care of your child's teeth. Your dentist has knowledge and skills relating to a broad range of oral health issues and can diagnose many problems and common diseases or other issues that can affect your teeth, mouth and gums.
An orthodontist, on the other hand, is a dental specialist who has had a further 2-3 years of full-time specialist university education beyond a dental degree. This additional education in facial growth and development, biology and biomechanics enables your orthodontist to accurately detect, diagnose and treat orthodontic conditions.
Choosing your Children’s Orthodontist
Along with his specialist orthodontic training, Dr Fine has over 30 years of experience which has equipped him with the high level of expertise needed to ensure that the standard of your child’s orthodontic care is excellent. His training and experience ensure that he has the foresight to identify crucial opportunities for well-timed early orthodontic intervention that can benefit your child.
In addition to ensuring the highest possible standard of treatment, the Fine Orthodontics team works hard to ensure that your child’s initial assessment, and any early orthodontic treatment carried out at our No Frown Zone is comfortable, fun and exciting for you and your children.
From the moment they enter our orthodontic practice, we believe that it is important that kids are actively involved, and we make sure that their questions and concerns are heard. We have an open, bright, comfortable office, and our friendly team is passionate about beautiful smiles and healthy teeth, but also ensuring that you and your family enjoy your time in our office, and that every visit with us is a positive one.
What If Your Child Doesn’t Need Orthodontic Treatment?
Great news! If you’ve attended your initial assessment and found out that your child does not need any orthodontic treatment, no early intervention is needed at this stage.
We do recommend however, that you work with us to monitor your child’s teeth and bite. Regular appointments help us to ensure that everything remains on-track. Periodic checks are recommended to monitor facial growth and dental development.
Another possible outcome of your child’s initial assessment is that treatment is likely needed at some stage, but Dr Fine’s opinion is that there is no advantage to your child in starting the treatment yet.
In this case, ongoing monitoring is the best way to ensure that future orthodontic treatment will be commenced at your child's unique ‘ideal’ developmental stage.
At Fine Orthodontics, after an initial consultation, we will provide complimentary check-ups to ensure that any future orthodontic treatment is commenced at the best time.
Expert Orthodontics for Your Child
We Have Multiple Treatment Options to Choose From.
Every child is different, so aligners might be a perfect fit for your child. Aligners are a nearly invisible alternative to traditional metal braces. If so, your child will benefit from Dr Fine's extensive experience in Clear Aligner Treatment.
If metal braces or clear braces are a good option for your child, Dr Martin Fine will customise their treatment to ensure fast, accurate results.
There are cases that can't be solved by teeth moving alone, so sometimes minor surgery is recommended.
This may include exposing an unerupted permanent tooth (e.g., uncovering a tooth which is trapped under the gums).
Dr Fine has experience working with a range of appliances that can help provide your child with efficient, high-quality orthodontic treatment. Most of our appliances are made onsite in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
Frequently Asked Questions about Orthodontic Treatment for Children
How is Clear Aligner Treatment Different at Fine Orthodontics?Imagine orthodontic treatment that straightens your teeth discreetly, without anyone knowing. Yes, continued innovation in clear aligners has made aligner treatments far more capable. Many are surprised at what can be done with aligners when compared with conventional braces. Not only has Dr Fine been working closely with Invisalign® since 2000, he has also kept a close watch on new developments and has now developed his own system of manufactured Aligners: FineLine. So you can be assured that the latest innovations will be applied to your or your child's treatment at Fine Orthodontics. (Yes, we offer Invisalign® and other types of Clear Aligners for children as well). Dr Fine's own aligner system FineLine is a great option in many cases, and is available exclusively at Fine Orthodontics. FineLine uses the best available materials and the latest technologies and techniques in Clear Aligner design and manufacture. FineLine offers substantial value, as we are often able to offer it at a lower cost than using external aligner manufacturers like Invisalign®. When choosing where to have your treatment, it is important to remember that the success of your treatment will depend on the experience and ability of the clinician who plans and manages your treatment. This is why it's crucial to choose the right orthodontist to ensure the best outcome for your smile. The orthodontist's knowledge, skills, and dedication are essential factors in determining the success of your treatment. Whilst general dental clinics may offer orthodontic services (including clear aligner treatment like Invisalign®) only qualified specialist orthodontists have the necessary skills and education to ensure that you get the very best result possible. Orthodontists have an additional qualification on top of general dentistry, with 2-3 years extra specialist training. In addition, experienced specialist orthodontists have spent countless hours planning and carrying out orthodontics exclusively. With over 30 years of specialist experience, Dr. Fine is highly-skilled and knowledgeable, and is an expert at using clear aligners to create beautiful, healthy smiles.
Why do people usually choose aligners over braces?People usually choose aligners over braces because: they are less noticeable than metal or even clear braces clear aligners are removable, so brushing and flossing is easier they are more comfortable than clear, metal or lingual ('behind the teeth') braces there are fewer dietary restrictions aligners require less maintenance and fewer office visits many office visits can be replaced by remote monitoring they can be removed for special occasions Clear aligners are only as good as the dental professional managing the process. A highly trained orthodontist can use the Invisalign® clear aligner system to its full potential. Orthodontic specialists also utilise advanced aligner accessories and tooth attachments. These accessories allow for more complex treatments previously only possible with braces. While there are many different aligner systems, clear aligners aren’t a fix-all just on their own. You need the skillset of an experienced orthodontist to get your bite and smile correctly aligned. Dr Martin Fine has treated well over 1000 Invisalign® cases, so you can be certain your care is from an experienced clinician. At Fine Orthodontics, our Invisalign® capabilities are enhanced by our state-of-the-art technology. From start to finish, our process is fully digital. 3D Intraoral scanners, smile simulation software, 3D digital x-rays and much more. Our precise digital laboratory allows us to offer our own range of clear aligners offering great treatment benefits. Our FineLine clear aligners use the best available materials and latest technologies and techniques. As we manage the entire process without needing to outsource aligner manufacturing, we can also offer considerable savings. Fine Orthodontics has this all on-site for better and more efficient treatment outcomes for you. At Fine Orthodontics we have a range of affordable payment plans to suit you. Why not Book a Free* Orthodontic Consultation Onsite at our Maroubra or Bondi Junction office? Our friendly team will be able to tell you more about how aligners could work for you. Dr Martin Fine will recommend a plan that’s most suited to your needs. Not sure whether to choose braces or aligners like Invisalign®? Visit our Clear Aligners vs Braces blog post.
Kids Orthodontist - Before and After
Orthodontic treatment for children is transformative, both aesthetically and functionally. Taking ‘after’ photos, comparing them to the ‘before’ photos, and reflecting on the treatment journey is one of the most rewarding aspects of orthodontic treatment for kids, their parents and guardians, as well as for us staff here at Fine Orthodontics.
Everyone involved in the orthodontic treatment process enjoys the unveiling of brilliant new smiles, and the improved oral health and enhanced confidence that accompanies this. We hope you enjoy viewing our ‘before and after’ gallery as much as we enjoyed creating it!
Take the Next Step Towards a Stellar Smile
The journey towards a captivating smile begins with a single step. If you're keen on exploring what an early orthodontic assessment can achieve for your child, now is the perfect moment.
Book your free consultation with Dr. Fine today and we’ll help make sure your child’s smile reaches its full potential.
Areas we Serve in Sydney
Fine Orthodontics has two clinics in Sydney, specifically in Bondi Junction and Maroubra. Not only do we serve those areas, but we also help folks from the nearby suburbs. It's all about making sure everyone has access to great dental care.
Level 8, 35 Spring Street
Bondi Junction NSW 2022 Sydney
Level 1, 633 Anzac Parade
Maroubra NSW 2035
We understand that life can be busy, and not everyone has the time to visit regularly. That's why we've started our Remote Monitoring service. With this handy feature, you can simply use a phone app to snap and send pictures of your teeth. This lets Dr. Fine keep an eye on your treatment without you needing to come into the office.
Especially for those living or working in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, our locations are super convenient:
Municipality of Woollahra
City of Randwick
City of Sydney
Including the following suburbs of Sydney:
Bondi North Bondi
If you're a student or staff member at Sydney University or the University of NSW, you'll find our clinics are easily accessible for you too.