Many dentists recommend that children who need braces receive them in their early teen years. As a general rule, you should wait until your child has all their permanent teeth. Braces for kids are often thought of as a rite of passage in their oral health journey. Almost every child will get some form of orthodontist treatment at one time or another.
Wait for permanent teeth
The recommended age for a child to get braces is typically when all of their adult teeth are in. This does not mean you have to wait to take your kid to an orthodontist. Even if they do not have all of their adult teeth, they might benefit from meeting with an orthodontist early.
An orthodontist can help determine when to get braces for your small child; typically, they will also ask questions about your child’s oral health. An orthodontist will be able to help determine whether they are a good candidate for braces with just a few of their permanent teeth.
Improved oral hygiene
Children with braces also often develop improved oral hygiene habits. Braces take a lot of upkeep, and your child is going to have to do most of that work themselves. Once they get in the habit of taking care of their braces, they tend to retain those habits well into their adult life.
Better oral hygiene habits lead to fewer dental visits. The fewer cavities that need to be filled, the better, and having a good oral hygiene regimen can help lead to that. This is just one of the many benefits braces can give you and your child.
Approaches to orthodontic treatments
Many children get braces by the time they are in their teens or have all their permanent teeth. Sometimes, there are other approaches to braces that can be used during the transition between baby and adult teeth.
One approach is known as an interceptive approach. This is when an orthodontist adds in apparatuses to your child’s mouth. This will help to form the jaw and teeth to create a more seamless transition when getting regular braces.
The interceptive approach is not always used by orthodontists, but it is worth asking your orthodontist about it as early as possible. If you are wondering what age you should be taking your child to the orthodontist, it is best to check in with your local dentist first.
Looking for the signs
There are some key issues that you will want to look for if you are unsure about getting braces for your child. One such challenge is the in difficulty chewing food. If you see your child struggling to eat, and they don’t have any cavities or loose teeth, you may want to look into some form of dental apparatus.
Teeth sometimes growing improperly. If you see that your children’s teeth are growing crooked or in a misplaced manner, it is worth it to look into early orthodontic treatment. This will help determine if an interceptive approach is useful for your child, or if you can stand to wait until all of their permanent teeth are in.
Cheek biting is another sign to look for. No one likes biting their cheek, but excessive cheek biting can be a sign that a child’s teeth are coming in incorrectly. This will cause a lot of unnecessary pain for your child.
Braces for babies
While it might seem that braces for babies are a non-issue, it can come up at times. While a baby is growing and developing, an orthodontic apparatus might help shape their jaw and correct any issues. This is a rare occurrence, but it can be helpful in your child’s development early on.
If you are still unsure about taking your child to the orthodontist, the best thing you can do is speak to their dentist. Many children see their first orthodontist at around 6-7 years old, but your dentist will be the best resource for finding out the right age for visiting the orthodontist. If you have any questions, feel free to call us. You can also schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentistry team or an orthodontist, for personal answers to all of your dentist-related questions.