If you think your child may need braces, you should take them to see an orthodontist. This is a specialist who has received training beyond dental school in the study of correcting bites, occlusions and the straightness of teeth. Many people assume that these are only cosmetic issues but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Not only are straight, properly spaced teeth easier to keep clean, they are also more attractive, easier to eat with and contribute to better speech. Straighter teeth also have a reduced risk for periodontal disease and other oral complications later in life.
When Children Should See an Orthodontist
Ideally, children should have an orthodontic evaluation around age six or seven. This does not necessarily mean that treatment is recommended at this young age. However, interceptive orthodontics is sometimes useful in preventing future oral complications. For instance, an excessive lack of space for unerupted teeth can require early intervention.
A child’s orthodontic evaluation is to screen for possible future complications such as crowding, crooked teeth, or spacing issues. At this point, the orthodontist will determine if a plan of care is necessary for your child. Many times, early orthodontic interventions can reduce the time a child will spend in braces.
How Old Should Children Be for Braces?
Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question. Each child has different needs and may experience different oral health complications, so the timing or orthodontic treatment depends on the patient. Some children may require early intervention while others may not need braces until adolescence. When orthodontic treatment is recommended for young children, it is most often to prevent future complications.
The Next Step
If you think your child needs braces, it is likely they may need some type of orthodontic treatment or preventive care. If they have not yet been evaluated by an orthodontist, they need to see one. Schedule an appointment with our team at Westside Dental Group today. We are always happy to evaluate a patient and help you explore your treatment options for a healthy, beautiful smile.