Ortho Care: Are Braces Right for My Child?

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Some kids actually look forward to getting braces, viewing them as a sure sign of becoming a teenager very soon. While some, however, worry a great deal about the way they’ll look or feel once they’re on. No matter how your child feels about braces, it’s likely you have some concerns and questions of your own about their braces, such as how you’ll ever pay for them. Here’s what you need to know about braces and your child.

Orthodontics

What Age Should I Consider Getting Braces?

A question that many pediatric orthodontists get asked a lot is “what’s the appropriate age for my child to start wearing braces?” But, there’s not an exact age at which every child should be fitted with braces. A visit to the orthodontist can answer that question more accurately. Most orthodontic screenings are usually done around age 7, according to the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists). There may be certain circumstances that may require earlier care, including the following:

  • A significant cross bite
  • Considerable overcrowding
  • A difference in size between the lower and upper jaw
  • Open bites (the front teeth fail to meet when biting down)

Various Phase Treatments

The average single-phase orthodontic treatment typically starts after all the baby teeth are gone and most of the adult teeth have come in (usually between 8-14 years of age). However, if any of these specific conditions emerge at a younger age, a two-phase treatment is sometimes recommended for the child. Two-phase treatments frequently use dental hardware as opposed to wearing braces in the first phase, followed by conventional orthodontic braces in phase two. Phase two is often shorter than a regular treatment plan that wasn’t preceded by standard dental hardware, but is different for each patient.

Early Examination Benefits

For children age 7 and younger, early examinations can yield a variety of benefits, including the following:

  • Assessing the proper treatment for long-term orthodontic care.
  • Identifying any severe problems including overcrowding that can greatly benefit from early detection.
  • Teeth can properly be guided by dental hardware in order to adequately prepare for braces, which in turn reduces the overall time that they require wearing.

Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist

As previously stated, there’s no precise age at which orthodontic treatment needs to specifically begin. But, most children wear them from ages 5-18. A board certified orthodontist, like those at Edgewood Dental Care Family Dentistry, can help you determine whether or not your child is actually ready to begin orthodontic care or if it’s better to wait a bit longer.


Samantha Stainsburry is a freelance blogger from Charlottesville, VA. She's a major history buff, and loves living in Thomas Jefferson's hometown. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, and finding new music among other things. Her personal ambition is beat to Ken Jennings' Jeopardy record with her vast trivia knowledge.

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