• What Age Should You Start Orthodontic Treatment
    December 5, 2016
    What Age Should You Start Orthodontic Treatment?

    Many children may require orthodontic treatment to correct teeth and jaw issues. The most common orthodontic treatment is dental braces.

    Why do children need braces?

    There are many dental problems that could require children to get braces. For instance, teeth can become crooked, overlap, or overcrowd the mouth. Children can offer suffer from malocclusion, which is when the top and bottom jaws are different sizes. When the lower jaw is bigger, it’s referred to as an underbite. When the upper jaw is bigger, it’s known as an overbite. Often, these problems are caused by accidents, habits like thumb sucking or losing baby teeth too soon. Additionally, if you had braces, it’s possible that your children will need them too. Unfortunately, dental issues can be inherited.

    How old does my child have to be to start treatment?

    Around seven years old, your child’s pediatric dentist may suggest an orthodontic evaluation. Your child’s pediatric dentist will recommend an orthodontist that they work with. When your child sees the orthodontist, he or she will determine the best way to align and straighten your child’s teeth. Depending on the severity of the misalignment, overlapping, overbite and so on in your child’s mouth, the orthodontist will decide if braces are necessary.

    Does a child need to have lost all of their baby teeth before getting braces?

    Generally, a child will need to have lost his/her baby teeth with the majority of his/her adult teeth having grown in before receiving braces. This usually occurs between the ages of 8-14. However, there are rare cases where children under the age of eight can get braces if the need arises.

    Are there treatments available for children who are too young for braces?

    There are interceptive approaches that an orthodontist can take if your child requires dental treatment but is too young for braces. These interceptive approaches include other dental appliances such as retainers to start correcting issues. If your orthodontist recommends an interceptive approach, there is still a chance that your child will eventually need braces. These interceptive approaches can help guide your child’s jaw and teeth so that they can set in the right place – but in severe cases, full orthodontic treatment may be necessary afterwards.

    It may be hard to know if your child needs orthodontic treatment (unless you can actually notice an over or underbite). It’s best to visit a pediatric dentist or orthodontist for a full evaluation. You can contact us at Garden Dental for more information.