Kids have different reactions to braces. Some are actually excited at the thought of having one and looking more “grownup,” while, of course, there are those who are worried about how it would feel. As a parent, seeing your kid show interest (or none at all) in dental care and dental treatments may make you ask the question that other parents have: ”When should my child get braces?”
Braces are necessary to correct your kid’s malocclusion or bad bite, or other alignment problems like crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth. Just as it is in treating medical conditions, the earlier your kids’ teeth are checked, the better! After all, it is essential to recognize and address malocclusion or other dental problems early on before they get worse.
What is the ideal age for your child to get braces?
There is no one “right” age for a child to get braces because every kids’ set of teeth will be different from another. Some kids may need to wear braces earlier, some a little later, while some won’t need to wear them at all.
It is highly recommended that you bring your child to see an dentist no later than age 7. During this first check-up, a dentist will evaluate your child’s bite and oral habits to determine if they should undergo dental treatments.
Typically, dentists look for these early warning signs of the following problems:
- Trouble chewing or biting
- Breathing through the mouth
- Thumb sucking
- Lisps or difficulty in speaking
- Protruding teeth
- Open bite
- Teeth grinding
If you detect these issues early on or have discussed it during a check-up, your child should soon receive dental care. In some cases, however, a dentist may recommend postponing the dental treatment to a later date while the child’s growth and development are observed in the meantime. This is because some dental treatments require the face and jaw to be fully grown first. Lastly, if your dentists sees a tooth problem that needs to be addressed, they may call for early treatment.
What is the purpose of early dental treatment?
As mentioned earlier, most dental treatments require the face and the jaw to be fully developed before certain treatments can be done. At present, your child may only have a minor bite or oral problem that cannot be treated with the common dental treatment. Nevertheless, these minor problems must still be prevented from becoming a more serious issue, which is why your dentist will conduct an early dental treatment.
Early dental treatment usually achieve these results:
- They improve your child’s facial symmetry
- They create room in the child’s mouth for teeth that have not yet erupted
- They keep the teeth healthy and reduce the need for tooth removal
- They expedite the treatment time of braces in the future
- They correct a bad bite
What type of braces will my child have?
The most common is the traditional metal braces, which are braces with brackets, wires, and rubber bands that come in different colors. The brackets are attached to the teeth and connected to each other by a wire, while the rubber secures these two in place. Your dentist will then adjust these wires and brackets regularly to help line the teeth well.
There are also clear or white ceramic braces that look similar to the traditional braces, but the difference is that the brackets are tooth-colored. Another option is lingual braces or braces that go behind the teeth. Third, are the removable braces called aligners, which are actually a set of plastic trays that are tailored only for the one using it. Tooth removal might also be necessary to create more space in your child’s gums.
There’s no specific age for your child to have braces, but addressing dental and dental concerns early on is a healthy practice. Getting an early check-up helps your child get started on the necessary treatment to prevent existing issues from becoming more serious.
If you are looking for a children’s dentist in Ann Arbor, we’re here for you! We have the latest dental technologies and skilled dentists to help your child get started on the right track towards a healthy and beautiful smile. Book an appointment with us today!