This has to be one of the most commonly asked questions by concerned parents. It can be very confusing as when dropping your child off at the school gates, some children are wearing braces and some are not.
The answer is that current studies indicate that there is NO benefit to starting Orthodontic treatment early on your child—all it seems to do is prolong the duration of treatment for them , and the finish date is still roughly the same age.
So, the current recommendations are that Orthodontic treatment should be started while the second baby molar is still present and before the second adult molar comes through–this is roughly around 11-12 years of age.
For more complex cases, where the upper teeth appear more prominent than the lower teeth (buck teeth), treatment is indicated before the pre-teen growth spurt (usually 11.5 yrs for a girl, and 12.5 yrs for a boy).
If your child does not appear to have canine (eye/fang) teeth erupting or palpable, then it has been shown that some benefit may be derived from your dentist electively extracting the baby canines around 10 yrs of age.
Once treatment starts, your child should have regular dental check-ups, and visits to the hygienist, as their orthodontist will primarily focus on the position of the teeth, and assume that the child is having regular dental examinations with their general dental practitioners.