When Should You See an Orthodontist?

When Should You See an Orthodontist?

Dr. Fodero's son outside during the fall

Although many people associate orthodontic treatment with adolescence, an orthodontist can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or teeth much earlier – while the primary or “baby” teeth are present.

So, when should you or your child see an orthodontist in Chatham, NJ?

The right age to visit the orthodontist

Parents may incorrectly assume they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth.


Dr. Fodero and the American Association of Orthodontists… This text opens a new tab to the AAO website… recommend every child get a check-up with an orthodontist around age seven.

By age seven, enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to evaluate the bite: how the top and bottom teeth and jaws meet and work.

That relationship affects your child’s ability to bite, chew, and speak effectively.

Orthodontists can determine what, if anything, is awry.

As our Chatham Orthodontist, Dr. Barbara Fodero, said,

“A visit to the orthodontist can ease a parent’s mind, too. Our recommendation may simply be ‘let’s wait and see’ while the face and jaws continue to grow.”

Signs it’s time to see an orthodontist

Some of the more readily apparent conditions that indicate the need for an orthodontic examination include:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking
  • Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

It’s also important to note:

Orthodontic treatment is not limited to children.

When is it too late to get orthodontics?

At Chatham Orthodontics, we believe:

No one is too old for orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic treatment moves teeth in the same way for a 75-year old as it does for a 12-year old.

Dr. Fodero’s advice to you is:

“If you’re an adult who is self-conscious about your smile, orthodontic treatment can provide you with the same benefits younger patients enjoy – teeth that function well and that look nice too.”


Nowadays, there are many ways to straighten your teeth that are less noticeable than in the past.

Thanks to modern technology, the materials orthodontists use to move teeth are almost imperceptible, such as clear aligner trays and ceramic or lingual braces.

Just remember:

You must discuss orthodontic treatment with an orthodontist – someone who first graduated from dental school, then completed an additional two to three years of education in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program.

Only people with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists.” They are dentistry’s experts in moving teeth and aligning jaws.

Request a free orthodontic consultation today

Do you live near Chatham, NJ?

Meet with our talented board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Fodero!

She offers orthodontic treatment for all ages, including:

  • Early Interceptive Orthodontics
  • Traditional Silver Braces
  • Clear Braces
  • Invisalign

Or contact us by:

Chatham Orthodontics is proud to serve patients of Chatham, NJ and surrounding areas, including Madison, Florham Park, Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Livingston, Short Hills, Millburn, Maplewood, and Morristown.

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Please call or text the office at (973) 701-2200 to schedule your appointment. If it is after hours and there is a dental emergency please text (973) 701-2200 and someone will get with you shortly.