Early Orthodontics in Worthington, OH

It may be surprising that young children are ready for orthodontic treatment. When we begin orthodontic care early, we can help minimize and often eliminate their need for more extensive treatments in the future. Early orthodontic treatment sets your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Why Should I Choose Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Because the sooner you get treatment for your child, the better the alignment of their teeth and jaws will be. Orthodontic problems often become obvious as early as the age of 6-8 in some kids. By using special early orthodontic treatments, Dr. Tori can correct lots of these problems while your child’s jaws are still growing, and before all of their permanent teeth erupt. This is known as “Phase 1” orthodontic treatment. Getting phase 1 treatment can simplify your child’s future treatment with braces, and can even eliminate the need for further orthodontic procedures, in some cases.

Did you know…

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The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that kids get their first orthodontic consultation no later than the age of 7 years old.

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We emphasize the importance of retainers in maintaining the results of orthodontic treatment. Our customized retainers ensure teeth stay in their corrected positions, safeguarding the investment you've made in achieving a straight and beautiful smile.


We offer expanders as a non-invasive solution to correct narrow arches and create additional space for crowded teeth. By gently widening the upper or lower jaw, expanders help achieve a balanced and harmonious smile, promoting optimal oral health and function.

Space Maintenance

Our specialized appliances ensure that adequate space is preserved for permanent teeth, preventing crowding and allowing for proper eruption and alignment.

Habit Appliances

Our practice offers habit appliances to address oral habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. These specialized appliances help break harmful habits, promoting proper oral development and facilitating optimal orthodontic outcomes.

Face Mask

Facemasks are a key component of our orthodontic treatment options. By applying gentle forward traction, facemasks help correct underbites and promote balanced facial growth, resulting in improved bite alignment and a harmonious smile.


Our practice provides headgear as a powerful tool to guide jaw growth and correct bite discrepancies. With customized headgear treatment plans, we aim to achieve proper alignment and enhance facial aesthetics, ensuring a healthy and confident smile.

The Benefits of Phase 1 Orthodontics

Develop A Healthy Bite

Phase 1 orthodontics is particularly important in patients who may have jaw problems or a narrow palate. These issues can interfere with the development of a healthy bite. In the future, this could lead to problems when the permanent teeth erupt, speech impediments, premature tooth wear, and lots of other problems. With early interceptive orthodontics, these complex issues can be reduced or eliminated.

Reduce Space Issues

Early interceptive orthodontics helps encourage adult teeth to erupt in the proper places, and can reduce the misalignment of adult teeth. This improves your child’s smile and oral health. In some cases, they may not even need braces (phase 2 orthodontics) to straighten their teeth.

Treat Other Dental/Health Complications

A maligned bite and misaligned teeth can contribute to or cause lots of other problems like disordered breathing, a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay, speech issues, and much more. Proper care from an excellent orthodontist will prevent all of these problems and more.

The Early Interceptive Orthodontics Treatment Process

Initial Consultation

First, your child will have a complimentary consultation with Worthington orthodontist Dr. Tori. Our treatment coordinator will take photos and digital x-rays and Dr. Tori will perform a detailed exam to assess the need for phase 1 orthodontics.

Personalized Treatment Plan

Dr. Tori will present a customized treatment plan based on your child's individual needs. This could include braces, habit appliances to help with things like thumb-sucking (Removed bad swallow) palate expanders, headgear, and a variety of other treatments. Every child is unique, so your orthodontist will discuss your treatment options with you throughly. The financial investment will be discussed as well as all insurance benefits and payment plans. All necessary appointments will be scheduled.

Regular Orthodontic Check-Ups

Phase 1 orthodontics typically takes about 12 months, though some patients may have shorter or longer treatment times. During this time, your child will come back to our office for frequent visits with their orthodontist. Their orthodontist will check on their oral health, examine their progress, and make sure everything’s on track. This same process will continue until your child’s treatment is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out these frequently asked questions, or call us to speak with our team.

What are the signs that my child may need early interceptive orthodontics?

If your child is showcasing one or more of the following signs & symptoms, they may be a good candidate for early interceptive orthodontic treatment:

  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Crowded teeth
  • Excessively gapped teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Excessive thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking

Our team is happy to work directly with you and your child to assess these symptoms before they become severe issues over time.

What are the benefits of early interceptive orthodontics?

Early treatment can be in a patient’s best interest if their problem is one that could worsen over time and cause severe dental issues in adulthood if left untreated. The goal of early treatment is to recognize and eliminate these problems as early as possible, so a child’s teeth and jaw can properly grow and maintain space for incoming adult teeth.

What causes orthodontic problems in my child?

While many orthodontic problems are inherited, some are caused by common habits over time, such as thumb sucking, finger sucking, or excessive pacifier use. Other factors such as mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, or early or late loss of baby teeth, and accidents can alter your child’s teeth and jaw alignment. No matter the cause, our team will cater to your child’s unique needs and teach them healthy habits for a lifetime of optimal oral health.

At what age should my child be seen by an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child’s first check-up should take place before the age of 7 or any time an orthodontic issue is noticed before then. By the age of 7, your child’s mouth holds enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to gain a strong understanding of your child’s mouth and jaws as they develop. This provides your orthodontist with plenty of information to give your child a tailored treatment.

How much does early interceptive orthodontics cost?

The cost of early interceptive orthodontics is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost include the severity of your child’s teeth misalignment, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for your child’s early interceptive orthodontics is to schedule a consultation with your orthodontist.

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