Do you think your child is headed for a mouth full of braces? Your child might if you notice they have difficulty chewing or crowded teeth or are mouth breathers or thumb suckers. It’s best to start thinking about it earlier, while your child’s head and mouth are still growing, and teeth are easier to straighten than later.
No one likes to hear that their kids need braces. Parents are not happy about the cost, and kids are not happy about having to care for them or for the change to their appearances. But orthodontic treatment cannot only help straighten teeth, so your child has a great smile, but they can also help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and difficulty chewing and swallowing.
When should I get my child evaluated for orthodontic treatment?
Experts agree that the best time to get an orthodontic evaluation is no later than 7 years old. Why so young? Even though your child still has many baby teeth, an orthodontist can spot jaw problems, overcrowding, and an uneven bite that warrant monitoring.
Additionally, the orthodontist may recommend early treatment, such as using a dental appliance while your child still has baby teeth. The reason for this early intervention is that it could make later orthodontic treatment shorter, more effective, or unnecessary. But, in most cases, the early evaluation is just a first step with orthodontics coming in the early tween or teen years.
Why are tween and teen years the best age to start orthodontic treatment?
The most common age to get braces is between 8 and 14, after kids lose most of their baby teeth. But, many adults get braces as well. In fact, one in four orthodontic patients are over 18! It’s still best to get them when you’re young because your teeth are more conducive to moving.
The decision of when to start will depend on the dental issue. Though some kids may dread having braces, others think they’re cool. Fortunately, they are pretty common among teenagers, so the embarrassment factor is usually minimal. Also, new colored rubber bands, invisible aligners, and other innovative orthodontics such as Damon™ Smile braces, offer several ways for kids to choose their “look.”
Another reason that tween and teenage years are the best age for orthodontics is that orthodontic treatment doesn’t only make your smile better, it can improve your speech, bite, and breathing. In other words, misalignment or tooth crowding issues are ones you’ll want to address sooner rather than later, so they don’t interfere with your child’s overall health.
For an orthodontic evaluation or consultation, call Georgetown Orthodontics, or make an appointment online.