Does it seem like all of your child’s classmates are getting braces? Many of them probably area. Crooked, improperly spaces teeth is a common problem that needs to be treated to help maintain oral health for a lifetime. But it is time now? And is necessary at all?
Here are some frequently asked questions about braces for children:
Is it really time to get my kid braces?
Orthodontic treatments for children are being done at an earlier age now because early intervention can more easily solve a lifetime of problems. And there’s no reason to wait. Orthodontists have learned a lot about the best way to treat with braces in the last couple decades. Most children have many of their permanent teeth coming in by their 7th birthday, and that’s about the time to start discussing orthodontic treatment. If orthodontic treatment is necessary for crowding, jaw misalignment or other concerns, treatment is easier in young children with softer, more malleable bones. And early intervention can prevent some issues. So it may not be time for braces at age 7, but an orthodontic evaluation at that age is a sensible step.
Can I tell by looking if my child needs orthodontics?
By age 3, a child’s 20 primary teeth should mostly be in place, and you can certainly see some problems by that age. Along with Dr. Woods here at Brighton Dental in San Diego, you can keep an eye on your child’s teeth to make sure they’re growing into a strong and stable arch. If not, some orthodontic treatments may be possible as early as age 7. Dr. Woods can evaluate anything that’s causing you concern and suggest the right steps moving forward.
Don’t I need to go to a separate orthodontist rather than a dentist?
An orthodontist is a dentist with 2 years extra training in orthodontics. At Brighton Dental, Dr. Woods is qualified to handle braces for children and adults and all of your family’s orthodontic needs. Plus, if you’re a regular patient at Brighton Dental you get an important benefit when you trust Dr. Woods for your family’s orthodontics: familiarity. You don’t have to go somewhere else where you don’t know anyone and instead can get your child’s braces from a team you already know and like.
Are straight teeth really important?
Yes. While many people manage to get through life with crooked teeth, they usually experience problems. Straight teeth look nice, of course, but they also function better than crooked teeth. Straight teeth can allow for better chewing, better speech and more. Plus, when you get orthodontic treatment early, you can avoid jaw problems down the road and can often brush and floss your teeth more easily, meaning less chance of decay and other oral health problems.
How can I reassure my child that braces are OK?
Braces and other orthodontic treatments are easier, quicker and more comfortable than ever before. While you may have had braces for 3 years, for example, your child may only need then for 2 years or less. Plus, fewer dental visits are necessary. Wires, if used, only need to be tightened every 8 to 12 weeks now. There are also clear plastic braces available today, and invisible braces are available that can actually be removed for cleaning – or an important date.
What should I do right now?
If your child is age 7 or older, it’s time for an orthodontic evaluation. And remind him or her that braces for children aren’t a bad thing but just a part of growing up. You can learn more about Braces For Children elsewhere on this site. And you can contact us when you’re ready for an orthodontic appointment for your child. We’re here for you through every stage of life.