Many parents ask us when the right time is to start thinking about orthodontic treatment for their children. At Arlington Smile Center, we start our evaluation of your children’s dental alignment and oral habits at age three and monitor closely every six months. A common approach to teeth straightening is to wait until children are mature enough to handle the responsibility. Dr. Roca used to feel this way. But now, we’ve seen how a proactive approach can lead to far better long-term results. Thanks to a lot of research and many classes, Dr. Roca discovered that one can prepare the mouth to receive the permanent teeth by giving enough room for them to erupt. At Arlington Smile Center, we never want to wait until the child turns seven. If Dr. Roca sees a child as young as three years old developing a malocclusion or myriad other concerns like mouth breathing, snoring, grinding, hanging out with their mouth open, or tongue thrusting, or if she detects a tongue-tie or lip-tie, she will highly recommend the child learn the correct habits for proper muscle development. This will enable ideal facial development before the permanent teeth come in, normally around age five or six. By starting early, you are allowing room for the developing teeth that are growing under the baby teeth to spread out in the jaw. Since permanent teeth grow directly under the baby teeth, if the baby teeth are spread out, the permanent teeth will be spread out as well to erupt in a non- crowded position.