There is nothing like the gift of a beautiful healthy smile. As a parent, you may be wondering what the right age might be for your child to get orthodontic treatment. The reality is that patients who have orthodontic issues that need to be addressed can benefit from treatment at almost any age.
Hearing that your child may need braces is one of the most dreaded things a parent can hear at a dental checkup. However, orthodontics can relate to a number of issues for children, including their self-image. Misaligned teeth can also be indicative of development concerns that could influence posture, breathing and sleep habits.
If you think your child may need some orthodontic treatment, come and see us and avail of our Free Remote Consultation. Here we can discuss your child’s specific needs and requirements and give you a clear idea which treatment would suit them and what age to start at.
First dentist visits
Your child should see his or her dentist by the age of three, once the primary teeth have come in. The teeth can be examined for any possible concerns, and treatment can be offered if issues are spotted. The more time that your child spends in the dentist’s chair, the more comfortable he or she will feel when there are serious concerns that need to be addressed.
How can I tell if my child may need braces?
As a parent, you can certainly keep your eyes open for potential orthodontic concerns. The best way to truly determine whether a child will need braces is to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.
Primary teeth should be in by the time that your child is three and permanent teeth should start to erupt between six and nine. You, along with your dentist, can observe how the teeth are erupting in order to determine whether there is sufficient room in the mouth, or whether there are other potential concerns.
If the upper dental arch is misaligned, this may be a sign that the child’s upper airways or sinuses are in fact cramped. This can, in turn, lead to the child breathing through his or her mouth. Mouth breathing is one of the signs that a child may need braces. Other signs could include poor sleep, snoring at night and dark circles under the eyes. These are signs that the child is in a higher risk category for sleep disorders and other health concerns.
Early orthodontics interventions include the use of functional appliances that can assist with the correct development of the child’s jawbones.
First orthodontic visits & Early Intervention
Early intervention with dental treatment is a key part of ensuring long-term success. This holds true for orthodontic treatments. Unless your dentist indicates otherwise, your child should be seen by an orthodontist by the age of seven.
There are some commonly held misconceptions about when children should begin orthodontic work. While there are industry standards, it’s near impossible to determine whether a child needs orthodontic work at an earlier age without first consulting with an orthodontist.
The traditional approach to orthodontic has been to wait until children are around the age of 12, when their primary teeth have all largely fallen out, before getting orthodontic braces placed. The idea behind this approach was that the course of treatment tends to be more predictable when adult teeth have fully erupted.
However, with today’s knowledge, orthodontists can recognise whether misaligned primary teeth are the early warning signs that the upper and lower jaws simply aren’t developing correctly. This can, in turn, have an impact on the child’s facial structure, airway and even posture.
With this in mind, corrective therapy is often considered at an earlier age today than it once was. To facilitate the child’s facial and dental growth, and help to remedy or stave off some of the concerns that children could otherwise be faced with.
Why are kids getting braces so much younger today?
It’s tempting to think that orthodontists are recommending braces earlier and earlier for non-essential reasons. The truth is that we are often seeing younger children in braces because of how our awareness about orthodontic treatment has changed over the years.
With advances in technology, we can also offer solutions that may help to encourage proper growth in the jawbone. Adult teeth will erupt with ample room and will not be as misaligned as they may have otherwise been without early interventions. Any minor mis-alignments of adult teeth can be treated with one of several systems that will soon offer results.
There are many orthodontic solutions that can be adopted prior to the eruption of the adult teeth. Some of these may even help to keep children out of the traditional braces altogether.
Getting braces is so much more than just the alignment of teeth that are crooked or have gaps between them. The right orthodontic solutions can help to give a child a winning beautiful smile for life, and instil in them that confidence and self-image they need. But orthodontic options can also help to provide a medical solution for some of the more serious issues that many don’t address until adulthood. Early orthodontic intervention can result in a lifetime of happy and healthy smiling.
It is important to understand that an orthodontist not only straightens the teeth, but also addresses a number of health issues which will effect the child’s health and lifestyle. As mentioned above, a child mouth breathing will sleep less, which in turn effects their mood and energy levels, and their performance in Sport and School. It is absolutely vital you come and see us now if you think your child needs treatment.