Not just for kids
The question most people have is what exactly is the difference between a dentist and a orthodontist? Well, glad you asked because much like your family doctor where you go to for general check-ups, that is what your dentist is. You will go to your family dentist to get general services done like teeth cleaning or get cavities filled. A great orthodontist is a specialist in the field of dentistry, where that person has had additional education and training on the straightening of teeth, jaw surgery or a combination of both. The end goal is to have an orthodontist perform the evaluation of your teeth and provide a recommended treatment option that's best for you.
With today's modern materials and treatments, adults can received the benefits really at any age. Statistically, the majority of patients receiving orthodontic treatment are over the age of 21. Due to loss of teeth and/or weaken bones which support teeth, it is very common that periodontal treatment possibly prior to and/or post orthodontic treatment may be needed because of the prone in adults to weakened bones and teeth.
As for children, not until the age or six or seven but it is best to seek advise from an orthodontist. It is not until around that age range when the fist permanent teeth have most likely come in. At this point in time any overcrowding of teeth, under-bite or overbites can be evaluated. Like in any medical treatment, when begun early proves the best results. This is more so evident according that one will have the ability to properly lead the direction of the jaw as well as incoming permanent teeth. The width of both upper and lower arches will be conditioned properly in early treatment so that the spacing of the permanent teeth are correct, thus completely avoiding any removal of permanent teeth. With proper treatment early, one could even eliminate unusual swallowing and/or speech impairments.