Early Treatment

What is the Best Age to Get Braces?

Did you know that your child should have their first orthodontic visit by the age of seven?

Finding and fixing your child’s orthodontic issues early on is very important. It means that your child will have fewer health and self-confidence issues later in life.

We offer orthodontic treatments fit for any age. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your first orthodontic visit should happen by age 7, but any sign of orthodontics issues should prompt a visit to the orthodontist immediately.

It is possible to get braces at 8 and braces at 10, it just depends on the issue being treated.

When Should My Child Start Treatment?

Orthodontic treatment generally occurs after all permanent teeth begin to show themselves. Sometimes early treatment is needed to avoid larger issues later. Early evaluation often provides us with insights into potential problems and allows for more effective treatment through the course of the patient’s care.

Typically, intervention at an early stage can provide guidance throughout the treatment plan while preventing more serious issues. We use cutting-edge digital imaging systems to reduce your child’s potential exposure to radiation and set realistic expectations of your child’s long-term needs.

Benefits of Early Treatment

A report from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine via Colgate describes orthodontic treatment in young children as interceptive orthodontics. At this state, teeth are still developing and the jaw is still growing, which means crowding and bite problems are easier to address and fix.

Early treatment can help reduce the potential risks of trauma or major surgeries later in life. It can prevent growth problems, like crossbite, underbite, open bite, deep bite, crowding, spacing and protrusion and disproportionate jaw growth (which can lead to temporomandibular joint disorders or jaw deformities). With Prentice Orthodontics, your child will gain better health and the self-confidence they need to achieve their dreams.

Treatment Options

We have a variety of treatment options that suit your kids’ needs and lifestyle, with easy care instructions. Technological advancements mean braces or aligners are more comfortable, which makes treatment easier for your child and reduces the number of visits to the orthodontist. We know your child’s comfort and confidence level is important, that’s why we only prescribe what’s absolutely necessary.

Gone are the days of hiding your metal braces from the world. With all the color options now available, your child can add some style to their metal braces or opt for the classic metallic look.


  • Obtain excellent results with metal braces.
  • Enjoy wearing fashionable, colored braces.
  • Unlike aligners, braces are permanent and won’t get lost or misplaced.


  • Require consistently good hygiene and care.
  • Restrictions on some types of food.

Invisible Braces: Invisalign® First

Today’s orthodontic treatments are a far cry from braces of the past. If traditional treatment options don’t seem right for your child, consider Invisalign® First. Invisalign® are clear, non-permanent aligners that are hard to notice and easy to take on and off. Invisalign® First offers children the opportunity to fix problems while their teeth are still developing, including dental arch form, crowding, tooth protrusions, and more.

Kids must have at least two erupted, permanent teeth, two permanent molars, and two permanent incisors to be eligible for Invisalign® First. We only implement what makes sense for your child. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Prentice today to see if your child is a good Invisalign® First candidate.


  • Invisalign® aligners are hard to notice.
  • Invisalign® aligners are removable for eating and brushing.
  • Fewer appointments.
  • No emergency visits for broken brackets or wires that are poking out uncomfortably.
  • Invisalign® aligners won’t interrupt your normal brushing and flossing routine.


  • Remove aligners before eating and drinking anything but water.
  • Brush and floss after each meal or snack. Any food or sugary drinks left on your teeth will be held there by the aligner and can lead to tooth decay.
  • You must wear your aligners for 22 hours per day.
  • If you don’t keep track of your Invisalign® aligners, they can be misplaced or lost.

Ceramic Braces

Subtle ceramic braces will improve your kid’s smile, without hurting their self-esteem.

Oral B notes that ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that are less noticeable as they visually blend into the teeth.


  • Obtain excellent results with ceramic braces.
  • You can enjoy wearing fashionable, colored braces.
  • Unlike aligners, ceramic braces are permanent and won’t get lost or misplaced.
  • Ceramic braces are less noticeable than metal.
  • Ceramic braces are attached to teeth, so you won’t lose them.


  • Require consistently good hygiene and care.
  • Restrictions on some types of food.
  • Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal.
  • They fracture more easily than metal braces.

Retention Phase

No more braces means the start of your child’s retention period in which they will have to wear retainers to make sure their treatment results last.

Dr. Prentice will check in on their smile to make sure their teeth stay in place once braces they come off.

Other Treatment Options

Phase I treatment for kids can include a palatal expander to correct jaw size differences and to address significant size differences between erupting permanent teeth and existing baby teeth.

Full Patient Evaluation and Treatment Plan

Before you start treatment, Dr. Prentice will give your child a thorough examination, which includes an assessment of facial balance and potential TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.

She examines the child’s bite for signs of over or underbite, crossbite or overcrowding of teeth.

After this initial evaluation, Dr. Prentice will work with you to provide a plan for your child’s treatment that includes fits their busy schedule and your budget.

See Your Child’s Best Smile With Digital Imaging

We use a digital dental scanner to create a precise model of your child’s mouth, which means no more goopy mouth impression molds.

This new technology ensures your child gets a perfect fit and faster service, plus you and your kiddo can compare his or her teeth to a digital simulation of their smile after treatment. Seeing the end result will make it easier for them to stick to the treatment plan.

How Long Will Treatment Take?

We provide do-able treatments for any child. The amount of time needed for any orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient, but Dr. Prentice works with each child and parent to establish a reasonable timeline of care using a full patient evaluation and treatment plan.

Within this, we pride ourselves in quick, no fuss appointments. We will fit your busy schedule to get your kids in and out of the chair, and back to school.