Early Intervention Specialist

Desert Ridge Orthodontics

Orthodontics located in Phoenix, AZ

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children start seeing an orthodontist at the age of seven. At Desert Ridge Orthodontics, Dr. Michael Papademetriou and Dr. Catherine Smith provide expert guidance to parents living in Phoenix, about whether their child will need orthodontic treatment. But they also offer immediate treatment should some issues be possible to be solved quickly and at an early age. Call or go online to book an appointment and find out more about the practical uses of early orthodontic intervention.

Early Intervention Q & A

What is early orthodontic intervention?

Early orthodontic intervention comes at a pivotal time in your child’s life.

Typically recommended for children of seven years of age or older and before they get their permanent teeth. Early intervention allows your practitioner at Desert Ridge Orthodontics to address issues that can otherwise create severe complications down the line.

Early intervention doesn’t solve every problem your child might have. However, it can successfully address issues like crowding, as the jaw is still growing and adaptable.

How do I know if my child needs early intervention?

Many factors can help you determine whether your children need early orthodontic intervention. The common ones include any of the following:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Problems chewing and biting
  • Thumb-sucking after the age of five
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth
  • Improper jaw alignment
  • Cross bites
  • Shifting of the jaw upon opening and closing the mouth
  • Crowded front teeth

You might also consider early intervention if you believe your child suffers from mouth breathing. With this condition, your child breathes exclusively through the mouth, specifically during the night. This can ultimately lead to the premature development of sleep apnea and other complications.

What are common early orthodontic treatments?

The most common treatment for children involved in early intervention is the palate expander.

Palate expanders are devices used to expand your child’s upper dental arch. They create more space in the mouth by widening the upper jaw over time. Since the jaw develops as two separate halves until puberty, it’s easy to isolate the area of treatment and fix any issues before it’s too late.

Palate expanders can fix issues such as:


  • Crossbite: when the upper jaw is too narrow to fit correctly with the lower jaw
  • Crowding: when there isn’t enough room in your child’s mouth to accommodate all their teeth.
  • Impact teeth: when a tooth cannot come in because another obstructs it.


What are the benefits of early intervention?

Early intervention is hugely beneficial to children, as it can successfully improve some skeletal problems, allow for a more normal development of the jaws, avoid tooth impaction, make room for the permanent teeth, make any future comprehensive orthodontic treatment easier and shorter and in some cases eliminate the need of further treatment.

The earlier crowding, crossbites, and impacted teeth are addressed, the higher the chances of your child’s teeth growing properly and posing minimal problems down the line.

If you believe that your child needs early intervention or if you simply want to get your child’s dental health assessed by a professional, get in touch with Desert Ridge Orthodontics today by phone or online to book an appointment.