A question we get a lot at our office is, “How are you guys so awesome?” We then proceed to pull out our handmade tri-fold to explain. Ok, ok we’re just kidding, although we are working on that tri-fold. A REAL question that we get asked all the time is, “When is my child ready for braces?” The answer is unique for every child, but there are some general recommendations.
When should my child see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7. If you responded, “ 7! You’re killin’ me smalls!” Let us explain. It can be difficult for parents to accurately evaluate their child’s orthodontic needs, because issues may be present even if your child’s teeth appear to be straight. Early evaluation and detection make any orthodontic treatment that may be needed in the future that much easier. It is also worth noting that many problems can resolve on their own, and we can help guide you with whatever your needs are!
What is the best age to start braces?
The best age to begin Orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient depending on their unique needs, but as a rule, treatment most commonly begins between ages 9 and 14. This is because during that age, most children have lost most of their baby (primary) teeth, and the majority of their adult (permanent) teeth have grown in. This window is the ideal time to begin orthodontic treatment because we can use your child’s growing jaw and teeth to our advantage as we guide toward intended results.
What are signs my child might need orthodontic treatment?
The majority of orthodontic problems are the result of genetics (or the family curse — however you see it). Issues such as crowding, too much space between teeth, protruding upper teeth, extra or missing teeth, and jaw problems, can all be inherited. There are other problems that can develop over time when children suck their thumbs or fingers, breathe through their mouths, or have poor dental hygiene or nutrition.
A few signs that may indicate your child should see an orthodontist include:
- Embarrassment when smiling or talking
- Difficulty in chewing
- Reoccuring biting of the cheeks
- Difficulty cleaning teeth, or removing food stuck in teeth
Whatever the age, there is never a bad time to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to evaluate you or your child’s specific needs. Except for babies, obviously. Babies don’t need braces, because babies have no teeth! But we still love them and hug them and squish those cute cheeks! Ahem…sorry, we got a little carried away there.
What we’re trying to say is, we’re parents too, and we know you want to give your child the very best. We are here to help answer your questions and give you the information that you need to make the best choice for your child. That is why our initial exam is complimentary. We want to make considering your orthodontic options as easy and straightforward as possible. Call us or visit our website here to schedule your free consultation today.