Why Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

As with any medical condition, it’s best if it’s detected early on. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get a check-up with either a dentist or orthodontist by age 7 to see how their teeth are developing. This is because many orthodontic conditions are easier to correct if they’re identified early on, preventing trouble in the future. A trip to the orthodontist provides the opportunity to have control over where the permanent teeth come in by designating the arrangement of the teeth and jaw while the primary teeth are still in the mouth. Dr. Deborah Himelhoch and the Smiles in Framingham team have years of experience with children’s orthodontic treatment near Southborough, MA, and shared their explanation as to why your child should see an orthodontist.

The Benefits of Early Intervention

There are several benefits of having your child’s teeth examined by an orthodontist early on- this is called the first phase of two-phase orthodontic treatment. By doing this, Dr. Himelhoch will be able to determine how your child’s teeth will develop after they lose their primary teeth. Then, Dr. Himelhoch will work to guide the growth of the jaw in order to make room for new emerging teeth, so that crowding won’t occur. This will also lower the risk of damage to any new teeth that are protruding or are starting to protrude. Regardless, a consultation from the Smiles in Framingham team will give you the opportunity to become more comfortable with any options or treatments that might be necessary as children get older.

The second phase of treatment occurs later on, usually in the pre-teen years, and involves treatment with braces. Braces are designed to improve teeth function and facial appearance, as well as move your child’s permanent teeth into their correct final positions. After treatment, your child’s self-esteem will grow as soon as they see their new, beautiful smile. Orthodontic treatment and a child’s growth are meant to match each other. The Smiles in Framingham team agrees that by timing orthodontic treatment with your child’s stages of development, Dr. Himelhoch can take advantage of your child’s growth, making treatment easier. Problems that can be treated in a growing child may relieve more radical and intrusive measures later on.

Conditions to Watch For

There are several conditions that indicate if orthodontic treatment is necessary, and these can be identified by a dentist or orthodontist. Examples include:

  • Crowding
  • Open Bite
  • Cross Bite
  • Deep Bite
  • Spacing
  • Teeth not emerging in the right sequence

There are many reasons why you should have an orthodontist inspect your child’s mouth when they still have baby teeth. Dr. Himelhoch agrees that a thorough evaluation will show how the teeth and mouth are growing, and will give the chance for your doctor to provide interceptive treatment. Interceptive treatment is designed to prevent a problem before it happens, thus making orthodontic treatment easier and less invasive in the long run.

If you’re still curious about children’s orthodontics, then feel free to call Dr. Deborah Himelhoch and the team at Smiles in Framingham near Southborough, MA. We can assist in answering any questions that you might have about children’s orthodontics. So what are you waiting for? Call (508) 872-0555today to schedule a consultation to give your child the smile they deserve!

To all my wonderful patients and their families:


The greatest pleasures of my career are watching children grow strong and healthy and seeing smiles become more beautiful. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of that growth and transformation. Now, however, it is time for me to slow down and share the care of my patients.


Starting in September 2022, Smiles in Framingham will merge with Moynihan Dental Specialists. I will remain with the practice, but will reduce my hours and give up administrative responsibilities. The wonderful team of people you and I have come to rely on will be staying. They will continue to help care for you. There will also be new faces, new people who will get to know and care for and about you.


Dr. Michael Moynihan is a second generation dentist and orthodontist practicing in Framingham. Dr. Mike, as he is known, is on the faculty of Boston University in the department of orthodontics. We spent two years as teaching partners supervising the Boston University orthodontic residents as they treated special needs children at Franciscan Hospital for Children. It was during that time I came to appreciate both how skilled Dr. Mike is and how much he cares about his patients. I retired from teaching prior to the pandemic, but Dr. Mike still puts much of his time and energy into teaching the next generation of orthodontists.


I met Dr. Daniel Moynihan when he was my student in 2017. Even at that time he was one of my most conscientious students. He cares deeply about all of his patients and I am proud to be associated with him. Dr. Dan is highly skilled with all aspects of orthodontics, including treatment using Invisalign and other aligners.


Dr. Katherine Moynihan and Dr. Christine Chiao are other members of the Moynihan team. Dr. Katherine Moynihan finished her orthodontic training at Boston University in 2021. Dr. Christine Chiao is a pediatric dentist, who also teaches at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.


Life is an adventure with many chapters, twists, and turns. I enter this chapter of my life looking forward to what comes next and feeling some sadness that this phase of my life is changing. For now, we will be keeping all appointments as scheduled. We will contact you individually about any appointment changes. All orthodontic contracts will be honored with care provided by the orthodontists. I have every confidence that the doctors of Moynihan Dental Specialists will provide you with excellent care for many years to come.


My very best wishes to all of you,


Dr. Deborah Himelhoch