Early Orthodontic Treatment

Pediatric Orthodontics in Houston & Bellaire

Just because a child still has baby teeth, doesn’t mean they’re too young to see an orthodontist. It’s the best time for early interventional orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic evaluation at age seven. In most cases, our pediatric orthodontists, Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Bloome or Dr. Mount will simply keep tabs on how your child’s teeth and jaws are developing. They’ll continue to schedule your little one for complimentary growth and development checkups over the years and let you know when the time is right to start treatment. To ensure your child’s smile stays on track, book a free consultation today.

We Make It Fun

At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, our offices are family-friendly, welcoming, and relaxed. We offer free early evaluations and complimentary growth and development visits until your child is ready to begin treatment. During these appointments, we monitor your kiddo’s teeth and jaws. If we spot emerging issues, we can correct them before they become more serious, potentially avoiding the need for surgery and extractions later in life. When your child comes in for their early evaluation, they’ll become a member of our exclusive Kids’ Club. They’ll get a T-shirt, a membership card and prizes. Your child (and you!) will feel at ease and well cared for during visits. Our team is knowledgeable and upbeat, and your doctor will explain their findings at each appointment, so you’re informed every step of the way.

Your Child’s Smile Deserves Expert Care

We can work with you to give your child the gift of a healthy, functional smile and we’ll make the process fun! Book a free consultation for your little one at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today.



An estimated 10 to 15% of children could benefit from early interceptive treatment.



The first permanent molars typically erupt between the ages of six and seven.



Schedule your child’s first orthodontic appointment by age seven!


The Benefits of Early Treatment

Seven years old is the perfect age to have an orthodontic evaluation. By this time, most children have a mix of primary and permanent dentition (baby teeth and adult teeth), as well as their first molars. We’re able to get a good idea of how their bite is forming and whether or not their teeth and jaws are developing properly. We treat conservatively and we only recommend early intervention (Phase One) treatment if there is a clear benefit. Most kids won’t need Phase One treatment and can wait till later in life for braces or Invisalign® treatment. However, if it is indicated, we can more easily guide the growth of their teeth and jaws to set the stage for lasting results. Early visits also give kids the opportunity to develop a relationship with their orthodontist and get used to appointments, so they feel more comfortable when they do start treatment (Phase Two). Plus, who doesn’t want to become a member of the Kids’ Club?

If early treatment is necessary, it can:

  • Guide or correct your little one’s jaw growth to fix imbalances and other problems

  • Guide tooth eruption to encourage permanent teeth to come in straight

  • Make more space for crowded teeth

  • Put an end to harmful oral habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting

  • Reduce the risk of dental injury by fixing protruding teeth

  • Help your child chew, speak and breathe easier

  • Prevent the need for jaw surgery or extractions as a teenager or adult

  • Give your child a beautiful, confident smile and a boost in self-esteem

What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

  1. 1

    Phase One

    The first phase of treatment focuses on encouraging the proper development of the jaw to make sure all permanent teeth can fit and that the two jaws align correctly. Not all children will need this type of treatment. We can achieve this with different appliances, such as Invisalign® First. When the first phase is complete, the patient will enter the observation phase. This is an in-between phase where we monitor your child’s progress and let the remaining permanent teeth come in.

  2. 2

    Phase Two

    During the second phase of treatment, the exact location of each tooth is assessed both individually and in terms of its position in relation to other parts of the mouth. This can only be done after all of the permanent teeth are in, usually when the patient is a teenager. We use braces or Invisalign® Teen in the second phase to straighten teeth and finish perfecting your child’s smile. This phase generally lasts about 18 to 24 months.