Braces For Kids


At Matsumoto Orthodontics & Periodontics, we turn little smiles into big, beautiful, healthy smiles.

Although orthodontic treatment can benefit anyone at any age, early orthodontic treatment can be more efficient and make for a more comfortable experience.  Through early treatment, Dr. Matsumoto can help guide the permanent teeth into a healthy alignment as they’re erupting. Dr. Matsumoto has years of experience providing gentle orthodontic care for young patients with growing mouths.  We don’t focus solely on ‘crooked teeth’. Our goals are to treat our young patients comprehensively with the aspects of craniofacial growth and development, skeletal discrepancy, dentogingival components, TMJ, and airway function.  Your child deserves to live their greatest quality of life! We’re proud to be a family friendly practice at Porters Neck in Wilmington, NC, where everyone is welcome.
kid with braces swims

What is the best age to get braces or Invisalign?

The ideal time to begin orthodontic treatment is often when the teeth and jaw bones are still developing. This is why the adolescent years (10+) can be the best time to complete a thorough examination and begin braces, Brius or Invisalign treatment (if necessary). 

We’re proud to offer Invisalign First for our young patients! Invisalign First is specially designed for small, growing mouths.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it’s best for children to receive their first orthodontic exam by age 7. During preschool years, the jaw bones haven’t fully developed yet and the permanent teeth are beginning to erupt. 

When you bring your child in for their first orthodontic exam, this doesn’t mean treatment will begin immediately. Every child is different and every smile develops at a unique rate. Dr. Matsumoto will only suggest treatment if it can improve your child’s quality of life.

How do I know if my child needs early orthodontic treatment?

If you notice any of the following signs in your child, he or she may benefit significantly from treatment.

The best way to know whether your child will benefit from treatment is by visiting our experienced orthodontist, Dr. Matsumoto, for a complimentary consultation!

Our Goal with Early Orthodontic Treatment

Through early treatment, we aim to:

Phase 1 and Phase 2 Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment is most effective when separated into two phases, designed to work in tandem with the natural development of the teeth and jaw bones.

What is Phase 1 treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is typically completed between the ages of 5 and 12. The purpose of this treatment is to establish a strong foundation with a sufficient amount of space for permanent teeth to emerge in alignment.

If your child’s palate (upper arch) is too narrow, this will be apparent during this time. The palatal expander appliance is often used during phase 1 to widen the upper jaw, creating enough space for all permanent teeth to fit in the mouth without crowding or overlapping. 

If your child has a severe “underbite” (the lower teeth being ahead of the upper teeth), orthopedic correction of this problem with the use of a face mask is most effective at this stage.

What is Phase 2 treatment?

In most cases, phase 2 treatment will begin in the early teen years, when all (or most) baby teeth are lost, and all (or most) permanent teeth have fully emerged. 

During this phase, we focus on the final position of all the teeth and jaw bones. Full orthodontic treatment with braces, Invisalign or Brius. First is often completed to establish a harmonious, proportionate facial appearance and to position the teeth in a straight and beautiful alignment.

Have questions about early orthodontic treatment or braces for kids?

We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options!

Dr. Matsumoto and our experienced team are here to guide you, so you can experience a positive treatment process while you achieve your perfect smile. Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation at our convenient Porters Neck office in Wilmington, NC today!