IMG_4134Many parents ask “What is the right age to get braces?”

The answer is; it depends. We advises children be seen by an orthodontist around age 7. By this age, most children have a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth and any crowding, spacing, overbites, open-bites, and crossbites can be assessed and treated if required. Many children at this age do not require treatment; simple observation is often the most appropriate measure. If a child at this stage requires treatment, this phase generally lasts about 12 months and is meant to accomplish certain things, like create space for teeth erupt, influence jaw relationships and growth, widen the upper jaw, and correct any developing crossbites.

Once early treatment (often, the first phase of a two-phase treatment) is completed, your child most likely be monitored every 6 months to make sure the teeth and jaws are developing properly.

Seeking early treatment may make your child’s future orthodontic treatment less demanding and potentially reduce the need to have permanent teeth removed for braces as a teen. In many instances, we feel it is best to delay treatment until all of the permanent teeth are erupted in order to make treatment less expensive, more efficient, and better for you child. If this is so, we will continue to monitor jaw and tooth development to watch for any problems and to evaluate for the best time to start.

Through early planning your child will benefit from becoming familiar with the OthoClinic staff and its environment. Familiarising your child with orthodontics and normalizes dental care and will help them aware of the importance of oral health.

Does Your Child Need Early Treatment?

Here are a few things to look for that mean your child may need to see an orthodontist for an assessment:

  • Crowded front teeth
  • Teeth that do not come together
  • Thumb sucking
  • Top teeth far ahead of the bottom teeth
  • Early or late loss of teeth
  • Spacing in between teeth

Most early treatments still require a second phase of treatment at the adult dentition stage to achieve the final bite.

Examples of early preventive treatment

  • correction of a crossbite to prevent asymmetrical jaw growth
  • correction of traumatic bite to prevent trauma to the palate
  • space maintenance to prevent erupting adult teeth from being crowded
  • space maintenance to prevent space loss for erupting adult teeth
  • correction of protrusive upper incisors to reduce the likelihood of trauma to those