What is the Best Age for Your Child to Get Orthodontic Braces?
Last Updated on
Orthodontic braces aid in correction of crooked teeth. Usually, an Orthodontist recommends the procedure after critical evaluation on positioning of teeth and jaw that affect chewing, swallowing as well as appearance. According to professionals in the field, braces are worn between 12 to 30 months depending on complexity of the patient’s case. However, there is no time limit to the procedure considering individual cases may respond to the treatment in different ways.
There are three primary reasons that attribute to the treatment procedure extension to 30 months and beyond. These include;
- Beginning the procedure before complete loss of baby teeth
- Untimely surgical procedures and tooth extraction
- Mid-course shift of treatment plan from the original
Evidently, timely placement of the orthodontic braces is critical for quick and effective treatment. Nevertheless, the decision to begin the procedure is beyond an Orthodontist and a patient. Parents have a major role in determining when their child should begin the treatment. Previously, teenagers and adults dominated the orthodontic clientele because of the need to improve appearance. Today, the orthodontic braces are increasingly becoming common among children. It is critical for parents, especially mothers, to keep a close eye on their children’s teeth alignment. Specialists recommend treatment in early years of tooth development because it is less costly. The procedure also takes a relatively shorter period on kids as compared to adults.
An Orthodontist’s appointment is critical if any abnormally is noticed. There is no room for ignorance considering it does not take any special skill for a mother to notice crooked teeth or misaligned chewing. Although consultants differ on appropriate time of Orthodontic braces placement to children, there are other Orthodontic appliances besides braces. Hence, it is never too early for a mother to book an Orthodontic appointment for a child.
Orthodontic braces are more effective after growth of permanent teeth. Usually, this is at the age of seven. Although placing the braces earlier than 7 years can still be effective depending on the kid’s complication; the procedure is likely to be more complicated and exceed the standard twelve to thirty months.
After seven years old, children lose all their teeth and grow new ones. It is only at this point that an Orthodontist can identify the specific cause of misalignment thus determining the correct type of brace. Besides, issues such as overcrowding and protruding only come after growth of permanent teeth.
Hence, placement of braces before may not be effective if overcrowding occurs after the brace set. Overbite and underbite are also treated by orthodontic braces. When the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, it is referred to as an overbite. An underbite occurs when the lower jaw is bigger. This condition is known as Malocclusion.
There are numerous causes of malocclusion, uneven bite, overcrowding, and crooked teeth. Inheritance is one of the key factors that necessitate brace treatment for children. Specialists cite that kids of people that underwent an orthodontic brace procedure are more likely to experience the same. Accidents and thumb sucking are also leading causes of early loss of baby teeth thus tooth complications hence need for braces.
Standard orthodontic brace procedures take up to 30 months for patients with at least seven years. However, there are exceptions to the set guidelines. First, a patient might have malocclusion that entails severe crowding and excessive crowding. In some cases, the canines protrude dangerously out of the mouth hence the need for immediate and specialized braces that may take up to two years. Patients with such complications have to endure longer time with the braces because Orthodontists wait for complete tooth eruption before removing the braces.
Secondly, severe tooth complications impact an individual’s social life. In the case of a school going kid, a protruding or crooked tooth may attract attention that will wear down the kid’s self-esteem. In such a scenario, an Orthodontist may recommend brace treatment procedure even when the baby teeth of the patient are not out. Additionally, tooth protruding exposes an individual to danger. Especially for children, a protruded tooth can break or tear flesh on the mouth or hurt a second party considering kids are playful.
Types of Braces
There are three common types of braces, namely; stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic braces. Although orthodontists prescribe either of the brace material depending on complexity of a patient’s case, straightening and fixing misalignment are the main functions of orthodontic braces. Invisible trays are also commonly used appliances by orthodontists to fix small dental issues.
The clear material on the treatment appliances make it invisible. It is a unique treatment procedure because the trays are customized to match an individual’s tooth line.
Apart from the stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic braces that constitute of rubber bands, wires, and brackets, orthodontists also use headgears as a treatment appliance. An orthodontist can prescribe the appliance to a child depending on severity of the issue. Headgears apply more pressure on the teeth by using a horseshoe-shaped wire that ties from the back teeth. Usually, one tooth is removed to allow space in the mouth for adjustment of the targeted teeth.
After placement of braces, a parent should ensure the kid visits the Orthodontist periodically for adjustments and monitoring. Parents also have a responsibility to ensure braces of their children are kept clean. Considering braces are made of wires, food can easily get stuck hence causing more damage. Therefore, regular brushing of teeth and use of flossers is necessary.
Patients should also avoid sugary and hard foods because they can damage the braces. Properly aligned teeth help in chewing and overall oral health.
Visiting an Orthodontist
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests that a child see an orthodontist by the child’s seventh birthday. Contact Gorton and Schmohl Orthodontics today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
In Marin County, Calif., you can visit Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics to have an examination and treatment from these professionals:
• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl
An orthodontist will discuss orthodontic options with you to repair problems such as crowded teeth, crossbites or overbites. Depending on your malocclusions, you can wear one of these devices:
• Braces with colors
• Traditional or Damon Clear
We also offer WowSmiles and Acceledent options to our orthodontic patients. Schedule an appointment by calling 415-459-8006 today.
Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200 Larkspur CA 94939 Tel: (415)-459-8006
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, a Bay Area native, graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor degrees in both Integrative Biology and Social Sciences and then went on to graduate from Harvard with honors for her Doctorate in Dental Medicine.
She continued her education at UCSF with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Growth and Development, followed by an Orthodontic Residency with a Master of Science in Oral Biology.