Pre-teen Orthodontics

  • FREE orthodontic consultations
  • Treat dental and skeletal conditions before permanent changes during puberty
  • Jaw size can be expanded at this age
  • Treats underbites, overbites, crowding, jaw misalignment
  • Both removable and fixed treatment options available
  • Removable plates can help to prevent complex braces later
  • Thumb-sucking and breathing related orthodontic conditions treated at this age
  • Reduces risk of needing adult teeth removed during teen braces
  • Costs vary case by case starting at $950

What is pre-teen orthodontics?

Pre-teen orthodontics encompasses treatment that starts before the puberty growth spurt and aims to achieve any of the following: move teeth, alter the jaw size and/or position, and influence the soft tissues (lips, tongue) that influence dento-facial skeletal growth. It is aimed at positively influencing the growth of the teeth, jaw and soft tissues to allow for healthy normal function.

Treatment commences before the puberty growth spurt when certain dental, skeletal, and soft tissue position and size is then more difficult to modify. A common example is creating enough jaw space to allow for adult teeth to grow into.

What conditions are usually treated with pre-teen orthodontics?

Common conditions that pre-teen orthodontics aims to treat are severe teeth crowding, underbites, severe overbites, crossbites, open bites, incompetent lips (lips that do not touch when resting), thumb sucking (and its subsequent effects on the teeth and jaws), and airway obstructions due to tongue position.

All of these conditions are much more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to completely treat during puberty and beyond when certain bony structures and soft tissues have already matured.

What types of treatment are involved?

There are various treatment types and will depend on which conditions are being treated. One example is a removable plate. This plastic and metal orthodontic device can treat a number of conditions such as narrow palates, deep overbites, and singular displaced incisors.

Removable myofunctional appliances, such as a bionator, can be used to influence the upper and lower lip to close, and help to increase jaw size reducing the risk of requiring adult teeth to be extracted during teenage years.

Fixed braces and expanders are often used as they are sometimes more predictable and kids can't take them off.

How do I know if my child needs pre-teen orthodontics?

There can be many signs and symptoms that are noticeable at home which may indicate the need for pre-teen orthodontics. One example is if adult front teeth are already overlapping by age 8 or 9, this can be an indication of crowding. Another example is if a child's lips remain open at rest, this may indicate an issue with the upper and lower jaw relationship and is very difficult to treat without surgery once in teenage years.

A comprehensive examination with the relevant x-rays (not just the little ones that go in the mouth) and with a trained orthodontic clinician is the best way to determine the need for pre-teen orthodontics. A child's overall dental and medical health, their compliance, and family factors must all be considered and discussed prior to any treatment.

Payment options available

We offer a wider range of interest-free payment options to suit any budget and we offer free check-ups and cleans for teen orthodontic patients*. Individual service costs may vary. Costs can be found on our Services pages.


Learn more about dental conditions and treatments with Bespoke Smiles Wanaka.

At what age should my pre-teen see a dentist for an orthodontic assessment?

It's recommended for children to have their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of 7. Early assessments can help identify potential issues and determine if any interceptive treatments are necessary to guide proper dental development.

What are some common orthodontic conditions in pre-teens?

Pre-teens often experience issues like crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Our experts at Bespoke Smiles Wanaka provides insights into these conditions and how early orthodontic interventions can prevent further complications.

Are there alternatives to traditional braces for pre-teens?

Absolutely! Alongside traditional braces, there are discreet options like clear aligners that are particularly appealing to pre-teens. With early intervention, there is the possibility braces can be avoided by taking a preventative approach in the younger years. Learn about the various treatment choices available to suit your child's preferences and needs when you schedule a new patient consultation.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic treatments for pre-teens?

Early orthodontic treatments can help guide jaw growth, create proper space for incoming teeth, and address alignment issues before they worsen.