Although you should consult an orthodontist by the age of 7-8 years old (as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontist), most orthodontic treatment occurs between the ages of 10-15. My preferred period to begin treatment is when only 4-5 primary teeth remain in the mouth. This occur at different ages depending on the patient.
There are many advantages for starting treatment during this period. Very often friends will be undergoing treatment as well and serves as a motivating and encouraging factor. However the primary reason for treating at this age is the fact that an adolescent is in his growth spurt. We know that orthodontic treatment is best done when the child is in his maximum growth period. We use this growth to maximize or inhibit growth as needed.
Detailed explanations of orthodontic treatment can be found elsewhere in this web site. However, the following are examples of special situations in treating adolescents :