Does my child need braces? As an orthodontist, I get many questions from parents just like you, who are not sure if their child needs braces, if they should see an orthodontist and many more questions. I hope I can address some of those questions for you here.
How early can you tell if your child needs braces?
Many parents want to know just how early we can tell if a child needs braces.That’s a fair question and one that shouldn’t go unanswered. You need to feel comfortable and confident with the information you’re receiving regarding whether or not your child needs braces.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, all kids should have their first orthodontic check-up by the age of seven. I second that notion and find that the age 7 is the perfect age for an orthodontic visit. It’s an important step in helping to ensure that your child’s teeth are off to a great start. We’re able to see things that you may not see on your own. For most 7-year-olds, this first visit is nothing more than an exam. However, for a small number of children, around 5-10%, interceptive orthodontics can help. We can address bigger problems like jaw alignment issues, impacted teeth, chipped teeth or gum tissue recession. We’re also able to help alleviate social issues, where children may be a victim of teasing or bullying simply because of the appearance of their teeth.
What can go wrong at an early age?
As a parent, you may believe that you can look at your child and see if there’s a problem with their bite. Sometimes you can, but there’s also a lot that cannot be seen, especially to the untrained eye. Here are some possible problems that can go wrong at an early age:
- Thumb Sucking
- Difficulty Chewing or breathing
- Losing baby teeth too early or too late
- Having teeth that are crowded, loose or have been blocked out
- Upper and lower teeth that do not meet properly
- Improper jaw alignment
- Impacted Teeth
- Tongue thrusting
- Severe crowding
How you can stop asking ‘does my child need braces’ and know with certainty
As you can see, there’s a lot that can go wrong, even at an early age. The best way to provide yourself, and your child, with a great smile and peace of mind, is to opt for an exam with an orthodontist by the age of 7. Most of the time, children don’t start necessary treatment until at least age 9, but it’s important to catch problems early so they can be corrected and won’t lead to additional problems as time goes on.