There is no stipulated age when a child may seek orthodontic treatment like braces. The treatment plan for the child’s oral-related problems will depend on his or her specific needs. For example, children with cleft palates acquire orthodontic applicants before their first teeth emerge.
However, early treatment is still more beneficial in comparison to addressing the problems later because it can inhibit further complications from taking place. It also provides a better environment for secondary teeth to come out and develop.
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends an orthodontic evaluation as young as six or seven years old though kids of these ages have not lost all their primary teeth. At age seven, the first set of permanent molars had emerged.
Getting Dental Braces for Your Child: When is the Right Time?
The ideal age for receiving orthodontic treatment like braces is between 8 and 14 years old. At these ages, a child’s mouth and head are still developing, making teeth easier to straighten. Between these ages, a child has lost nearly all of his or her primary or baby teeth, and most of the permanent teeth have developed. Children who still have baby teeth or developing permanent teeth are not advised to get braces.
Some orthodontists suggest an interceptive method, which is a phased type of orthodontics. Interceptive orthodontics is often the first phase where malocclusions are extracted once detected to avoid adult malocclusion. Though this method may not prevent the need for braces, retainers, or other orthodontic treatment in later years, it can shorten the duration of the second phase since minimal corrections are to be made.
But, orthodontists who prefer the conventional method are not keen on the two-step phase of treatment because, according to them, it reduces the total time and expenditures of orthodontic treatment while delivering similar outcomes
The best time and method for parents and children will hugely rely on the severity of the child’s oral complications. Parents may take into consideration the following questions when deciding:
How long will your child need to have braces?
The length of treatment will also differ, depending on the issue and the child’s cooperation and development. Usually, people wear braces for 18 to 36 months.
Does your child need braces or simply want them for aesthetic purposes?
If the dental problem is minor and can be addressed without braces, you can put off braces.
Can your child attend several orthodontic appointments?
Braces will need proper care and additional attention to avoid bacteria build-up and plaque accumulation. They must also be checked and tightened every so often too.
Do you have funds to pay for your child’s braces and appointment?
Braces are quite pricey and need constant dental care.
It is recommended to have a discussion with the child’s orthodontist or dentist about the possible course of action.
A dentist may correct the problem for minor issues, but if major orthodontic work or treatment is required, an orthodontist must be consulted. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in handling jaw problems, correcting misaligned bites, and straightening the teeth as compared to an ordinary dentist.