The first orthodontic examination does not always result in a recommendation for immediate treatment. After evaluating your child, the orthodontist may simply want to check your child periodically while permanent teeth erupt and the jaws and face continue to grow.

This periodic examination, or observation visit, is usually scheduled at six-month intervals. These observation visits are important because the orthodontist can evaluate factors such as growth of the jaws, loss of the primary teeth, eruption of the adult teeth, and the effects of habits such as thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting and mouth-breathing. These early observation visits allow the orthodontist to determine how and when a child’s particular problems should be treated for optimum improvement and comfort with the least time and expense. As a result, many potential problems can be kept to a minimum and the duration of orthodontic treatment can be greatly reduced.