A common question we get from parents is, “When should my child get braces?” Like many other dental-related questions, it depends. Some kids require braces earlier than others and some never need braces at all. While every child might have different dental needs, both the American Association of Orthodontists and The American Dental Association recommend that all children have an initial orthodontic visit around age seven. This is when they have enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws. Orthodontists are dentists with additional training, who specializes in the development, prevention and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite and jaws and related facial abnormalities. The orthodontist will be the one to determine if and when braces or other orthodontic treatments are necessary.
Why Should You Have Your Child Evaluated by an Orthodontist?
Having your child evaluated by an orthodontist at an early age is important for several reasons.
- An orthodontist can identify potential problems earlier and monitor issues before they develop.
- Problems that are caught and treated early, can affect the type and length of treatment, as well as the pricing of future treatment your child may need.
- Sometimes, early detection of certain problems can increase your options for treatment. The orthodontist might recommend what’s called an interceptive approach, which involves using dental appliances while a child still has most of their baby teeth, making it easier to correct dental problems when the child is older.
Signs Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Treatment
There are several noticeable signs that might indicate your child should be evaluated by an orthodontist. These include:
- Trouble with chewing or biting.
- If your child has an overbite or underbite.
- If there are missing, crooked or crowded teeth.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth.
- If your child’s jaw appears crooked or makes clicking or grinding sounds.
What Are the Benefits of Braces?
Braces work by moving and shifting teeth gradually over a period of several months or years to correct dental issues. They lower the potential for decay when teeth are crooked or overlapping and improve the ability to chew and speak. Braces also help with jaw-related issues, such as head and earaches, or TMJ. They can also help boost your child’s confidence level, allowing them to smile without being conscious.
When’s the Right Time for Braces?
Every child is unique, so there is not a specific age at which a child should get braces. However, the most common age range for standard braces is between 10 and 14 years old. This is when they have generally lost their baby teeth and already have their 12-year molars. Everyone develops differently, and the point at which your child will need braces depends on the severity and the cause of your child’s dental problems.
By making sure your child maintains their regular dental appointments, we can keep an eye on tooth eruption and movement and identify any potential issues as early as possible.
Still have questions about the right time to get braces? JR Dental is affiliated with Jax Multispeciality Dental Center. Our specialists are trained to take care of any orthodontic problem regardless of complexity. Call us at (904) 786-5850 to schedule an appointment today.