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Best Time For Your Child To Get Braces

Tuesday - September 20th, 2016
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It’s a rite of passage for many kids taking that trip to the orthodontist for braces. Some kids are excited about getting multi-colored bands on their teeth; others might be a little nervous of the pressure of getting your wires tightened.

As a parent, you may be wondering how old your child should be to get braces. Your dentist and orthodontist can help advise when is the right time for your child, but here are some basic tips to know when it might be appropriate to look into braces.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, most treatment begins between ages 9 and 14, and lasts for one to three years (an average of two years; however, early screening (before the age of 7) may provide the opportunity for early intervention so that braces can be avoided or the treatment duration may be shortened.

The Orthodontist will likely evaluate a set of radiographs (x-rays) to determine if the adult teeth are in the right position to erupt normally and in some instances they can assist the eruption pattern to minimize the needs for braces. Your dentist may speed the process by pulling out a few remaining baby teeth.

One concern I hear a lot from parents of kids on the younger end is if they get braces too young, they may need a second round when they’re older. Again, it really all depends on the individual child and the state of their mouth, but I encourage you to talk to your dental team about the long-term expectations for treatment.

There are different phases of treatment and my son actually only needed phase one therapy (which was braces on 4 teeth only) which provided just the right amount of movement that the rest of his teeth erupted into a correct pattern. He didn’t need further braces which, of course, saved us time, money, and an unhappy child.

Regardless, it’s an increasingly common treatment that ultimately results in a gorgeous, straight smile which is the most important thing!