Orthodontic treatment for kids in Philadelphia

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a preventative orthodontic assessment around age seven

Early prevention means families rest easy

Learn about our approach to two phase treatment. ⟶

For some children, early orthodontic treatment makes 
all the difference

At Appel Orthodontics, we take a conservative approach to treatment. Every child does not need a palette expander at age 8 or 9! For most people who need orthodontic intervention, standard treatment works perfectly.

If a child does need early treatment and doesn't get it, however, treatment becomes more difficult. In these cases, the opportunity to correct the growth of the jaws and certain bite issues while the bones are still soft is invaluable, reducing the need for tooth extractions and even jaw surgery.

Signs your child might benefit from early prevention

Losing baby teeth early or late

Most kids start losing their baby teeth around age 7. If your child's developmental timeline is different, we recommend an orthodontic checkup.

A bite that doesn't close correctly.

Your child's lower teeth should nest tightly behind the upper teeth when they bite down, and the jaw should not shift to the side when they open and close their mouth.

Crowded front 

At age seven or eight, your child's front teeth shouldn't overlap or turn to the side to make room for each other. 

Difficulting biting or chewing.

Biting through and chewing food easily is essential to your child's ability to eat and digest a balanced diet.

Mouth breathing or speech impediments.

Structural issues in the jaw and palette can impact breathing and clear speech. 

Thumb-sucking after age 5.

Prolonged thumb sucking can permanently reshape the bones of the mouth. Orthodontic intervention can repair and prevent this damage.

Join the Appel Orthodontics Early Explorers Club

Membership in our free Early Explorers Club includes fun seasonal swag and tickets to explore Philly locations (think Philadelphia Zoo, Adventure Aquarium, Independence Seaport Museum, and Franklin Institute) where the whole family can learn about teeth and jaws in the animal kingdom! At your consultation, we'll assess the growth and development of your child's jaw, teeth, and palette. You and your child will have lots of time to explore the office, learn about bite in hands-on, kid-friendly ways, and get to know our team.

Our priority throughout the visit is your child's comfort. We're a family practice: Drs. Andrew and Andi have two little guys of their own! At Appel Orthodontics, we understand how important it is that kids feel at home, and that everyone in the family gets to look around, share concerns, and ask questions.

We can't wait to meet you!

Welcome to our family business

Appel Orthodontics is honored to treat generations of Philadelphia families just like ours. Our practice was founded in 1978 by our kids' grandpa, Dr. Steve Appel. You can always expect personal, affordable, approachable care from us: the kind of care we want for each other and our boys.

Learn more about the history of our practice.

Let’s talk about two-phase treatment

This is difficult for a parent to evaluate. Even if your child’s teeth look straight, there may be problems that require the expertise of an orthodontist. Regular dental check ups may alert you to the need for specialized orthodontic treatment, but examination by a dedicated orthodontist is recommended for all children from the age of 7.

We offer free initial consultations where we can assess your child and offer any recommendations. Early detection is the best prevention against future difficult treatment for your child, but many problems may resolve on their own, and we can help guide you whatever your needs!

Two-phase treatment is the best way to care for the small percentage of children who need orthodontic intervention early, while their jaws are still developing. During Phase One, we address issues in the child's growth and development to minimize the need for painful and invasive treatment later.

Two-phase treatment is a standard orthodontic approach that is familiar to insurers. At Appel Orthodontics, we do all of the insurance homework for you! If you share your insurance information with us before your initial consultation, we'll have all of the information about your coverage ready for you when you come into the office.

Palate expanders are an effective orthodontic appliance that can help in correcting several different orthodontic problems.  However, not all kids need, or would benefit from, a palate expander.  By seeing children starting at age 7, our doctors can assess if there is a true benefit to be gained by using a palate expander for your child.

Children typically lose their baby teeth between 7 and 12 years old. Families (and kids!) often have lots of questions about this unique time of life, and you can read all about what to expect here

Smiles for Survivors

Cancer survivors are incredible people! They've fought for their lives and won against a terrible disease. Smiles for Survivors was founded in 2021 to help restore the oral health of cancer survivors. We provide free treatment to cancer survivors in the area who are willing to travel to our Philadelphia, PA, office. 

Do you know a cancer survivor who could use free braces treatment? Then contact Appel Orthodontics! We would love nothing more than to restore their beautiful smiles! 

Check out some of our smiles

Your new smile starts here

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