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Early Orthodontic Treatment in McMurray & Bethel Park, PA.

When most people think of orthodontic braces, they picture someone who is a preteen or teenager sporting brackets and wires on their teeth. However, McMurray, PA orthodontist Dr. Cartwright sometimes suggests braces for children even younger. Here are answers to some of the questions you may have if your child has been recommended to wear braces at a young age.

What is the goal of early orthodontic treatment?

There can be a few different reasons why Dr. Cartwright might recommend braces for a young child. Early intervention with braces can make more room for permanent teeth to come so is the necessity for tooth extraction is lessened. Also, wearing braces sooner rather than later can help correct jaw growth and certain bite problems, such as an underbite.

Why might a child need early orthodontic treatment?

Not all children need to wear braces early. Some of the circumstances that may warrant early intervention include:

  • Losing baby teeth early or late
  • Trouble with chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking beyond the age of five years old
  • Speech impediments
  • Teeth that protrude
  • An uneven bite, such that teeth do fit together well
  • Crowded front teeth


At what age should a child have an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first screening by the time they are seven years old. For most kids, this is the time when all of their permanent front teeth and their first molars have come in. At this time, Pittsburgh orthodontist Dr. Cartwright can tell if there are problems with eruptions. Also, he can evaluate your son or daughter’s jaw to detect growth discrepancies, such as a cross bite (when the upper teeth hit behind the lower teeth), crowding or teeth that protrude. After this early evaluation, Dr. Cartwright will know if early treatment is necessary and when that should begin.


What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation and treatment?

If McMurray orthodontist Dr. Cartwright does recommend braces for your son or daughter at a young age, then the benefits can be far-reaching. Chief among these benefits is that future orthodontic treatment may be simplified or the treatment time may be shortened. Other advantages of early orthodontic treatment include:

  • Decrease the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
  • Guide permanent teeth into better positioning
  • Guide the growth of your child’s jaws
  • Enhance personal appearance
  • Eliminate speech problems and difficulty eating or breathing

Bethel Park Office

Dr. Gary Cartwright, DMD
4880 Library Road
Bethel Park, PA 15102
(412) 833-6188

McMurray Office

Dr. Gary Cartwright, DMD
2000 Waterdam Plaza Drive, Suite 160
McMurray, PA 15317
(724) 942-5130

Complimentary Exam

Dr. Cartwright offers a complimentary consultation for children under 18 that consists of a panoramic x-ray, photographs, a thorough orthodontic examination and a discussion of potential treatment options.

4880 Library Road, Bethel Park, PA 15102 USA
Gary Cartwright, DMD Bethel Park, PA Orthodontist. (412) 833-6188
2000 Waterdam Plaza Drive, Suite 160, McMurray, PA 15317 USA
Gary Cartwright, DMD McMurray, PA Orthodontist (724) 942-5130