Braces for Children

When kids are young, their jaws are constantly growing to accommodate new teeth. It is during this time that the teeth are easily moved, allowing for a shorter treatment time – especially in patients who undergo early treatment. Braces, retainers, and spacers are just some of the orthodontic appliances commonly used in children’s orthodontics. Although not all kids need orthodontic treatment, all kids need exams at an early age. Some signs that a child may eventually require orthodontic treatment include:

  • Jaw is disproportionate to the face
  • Has a habit of frequent thumb-sucking
  • Chronically breathes from the mouth rather than the nose
  • Primary teeth fall out too soon or too late
  • Exhibits malocclusion (overbite/underbite)
  • Visible crowding

 

Did you know?

children should have their first orthodontic screening no later than age 7? This orthodontic evaluation is used to identify jaw irregularities and developmental complications that could indicate the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. Early screenings make it possible to get early treatment, with some children beginning progressive orthodontic treatments as early as age 7.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age should my child first be seen by an orthodontist?

If your child is at least 7 years old or is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your child’s orthodontist can take steps to correct a bad bite, fill in gaps, and straighten the teeth all before your child reaches the teen years.

What should I expect at my child’s first orthodontist appointment?

Your child’s appointment will include a visual examination as well as x-rays. Your child’s orthodontist may also ask you questions about your child’s habits, such as thumb and finger-sucking. After this exam, the orthodontist will discuss options and time-frames for treatment if any is needed.

Will I need to follow any special instructions if my child gets braces?

Yes, you will need to follow careful instructions to ensure the braces don’t get damaged or broken. This includes monitoring your child’s diet. Hard foods, candies, popcorn kernels, and chewy items should all be avoided. You’ll also need to ensure your child properly brushes and flosses around the appliance to protect the teeth from decay during treatment.