What Age Can Kids Get Braces
- On April 1, 2022
As a parent, you’ve probably kept track of important milestones in your child’s life. You’ve celebrated their progress from their first step to their first word. But what about braces? Many parents are unsure about when it’s time for their kids to see an orthodontist.
Having your child evaluated early can make the process easier. Here’s what you need to know about your child and orthodontic care and how All Smiles Dentistry in Lake Jackson can help.
How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces
The first signs that a child may need orthodontic care are usually seen when their adult teeth start coming in. Don’t worry too much if the adult teeth look a little crooked when they emerge; it’s not uncommon for them to start a little askew and straighten up as they finish coming in.
However, if you see that your child’s teeth are very crowded, overlapping, or crooked, that’s a good sign they may need braces. If adult teeth erupt alongside baby teeth, they may end up crowded. They may also have a problem with the way their teeth meet when they bite down, like overbites or underbites. These issues could cause their bottom jaw to appear too large or too small, or it could cause them to bite their cheek or lip frequently. Instances like losing baby teeth too early or too late can also cause bite problems.
When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?
The American Academy of Orthodontists recommends that kids be evaluated by an orthodontist no later than seven years old. While this may sound early, keep in mind, it doesn’t mean they’re likely to need braces that young. Most patients get braces between the ages of nine and 14 years old.
Seeing an orthodontist when your child is young can help head off problems and ensure that your child can get the most effective and efficient care possible.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
In some cases, it may be necessary to have a child evaluated before they are seven years old. If your child seems to have problems biting or chewing, their face looks asymmetrical, or you hear popping or clicking sounds with jaw movement, make an appointment. Some problems can only be corrected before the bones in the face stop growing.
What to Expect During an Orthodontic Check-Up
Your child’s first orthodontic exam is all about gathering information. The orthodontist will examine their teeth and jaw and take X-rays to see what the unerupted adult teeth are doing.
This information will help them decide if your child needs treatment and how to plan that care if they do. This treatment plan may be as simple as addressing dental care to prevent future problems, or it may be more complex, including braces. Your child may benefit from immediate treatment, or the orthodontist may decide to wait and monitor their progress before deciding what to do next.
Ultimately, your child’s treatment plan is as unique as they are.
Types of Braces
There are two main types of braces available to correct misaligned teeth. The first is traditional braces, which use metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands to move the teeth into place. We also offer a less-noticeable form of traditional braces, called Six Month Smiles, which uses thin wires and brackets that are clear or match the color of the teeth. However, the Six Month Smiles approach is more appropriate for adults or children closer to adult size and age.
Clear aligners use transparent trays that fit over the teeth. New trays are made to maintain the precise pressure needed to ease the teeth into alignment as the teeth move. This style of braces is not only less visible, but they also have the benefit of being removable, making it easier to keep the teeth clean. At All Smiles Dentist, we offer two clear alignment systems, ClearCorrect and Invisalign. Sadly, while suitable for teens, these removable systems have problems with lost aligners and lack of compliance in kids.
If you’re concerned about the cost of braces, we urge you not to let it stop you from having your child evaluated. Orthodontists know braces are expensive and have ways to pay over time. Keep in mind that early intervention can ward off more serious problems, reducing the overall cost and time required for treatment.
All Smiles Dentistry believes that everyone should have access to good oral health care, so we have a range of dental financing options. We work with you to help you fit the orthodontic care your child needs into your budget.
Orthodontists Do More Than Straighten Teeth
Although orthodontists love to help, their patients have a beautiful smile; straightening teeth is only part of their work. They can diagnose and treat problems of the teeth, jaw, and mouth, often before they’re noticeable. Proper orthodontic treatment prevents future painful issues, keeping your child’s mouth as healthy as possible.
At All Smiles Dentistry, we are committed to helping our patients in the Lake Jackson area have the best oral health possible. We offer a full range of dental care, including orthodontic treatment for children, teens, and adults. To have your child evaluated by one of our skilled professionals, make an appointment today.
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