When is the Right Time for my Child to Get Braces?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, it is recommended that your child has an Orthodontics examination by the time they are 7 years old, when all of their permanent molars should be erupted.  When the molars and front teeth are in, issues such as crowding become apparent.  This crowding can be from the teeth themselves or even the way the bones have formed.

Don’t panic yet, starting the process at age 7 does not mean that your child will be getting braces immediately. Early diagnosis is critical for the long-term success of orthodontic treatment and early intervention in some cases may be necessary for optimal results. In these cases we sometimes recommend a two-phase treatment. 

When a child is seen at an earlier age like 7 years old, the orthodontist can accurately diagnose and plan the optimal treatment accordingly.  So, what are the signs that your child may need a consultation with an orthodontist?

  • Your child may grind their teeth excessively which you will most likely notice while your child is asleep.  To tell if they are grinding, you can often hear the sound of the teeth rubbing together.  Another sign of grinding is the wear on the teeth; you would begin to notice the teeth are flattened on the edges.
  • They may bite their cheeks or even the roof of their mouth indicating that their bite is off. 
  • If you look at your child’s profile and their jaws seems to be too far back or too far forward.
  • You look in their mouth and notice misplaced, crooked, or crowded teeth.
  • They may have difficulty chewing or biting into a sandwich.
  • Your child may have lost baby teeth early or they may be retaining them longer than normal.

Even if you are unsure whether your child will need orthodontic help, the key is to bring them to our office for an evaluation by age 7. This will allow us to establish a customized plan and approach for your child and meet their needs appropriately.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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