Braces for Kids & Early Treatment

Braces for kids can provide straight teeth and a beautiful smile for life. So, when is the best time to bring your child in to an orthodontist?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, you should schedule your child for an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. At this age, Dr. Durham can assess your child’s smile to determine if we need to begin orthodontic treatment. Many children have had their first adult molars come in by this age, allowing us to review the spacing and alignment of the jaws. Oftentimes, kids this age won’t need braces yet. However, early treatment allows us to begin monitoring your child’s teeth and bite alignment and look for any changes that may be cause for concern.

Why Early Treatment?

If caught early, we can fix crowding, spacing, and bite issues with minimal intervention. If left untreated, children with orthodontic problems may develop more severe issues later on, such as speech impediments, TMJ, and sleep apnea. In severe cases, some patients may require surgery and extractions to fix their bite. To keep the required treatment and costs to a minimum, we strongly encourage you to bring your child in for an evaluation.

In addition, crowded teeth can make it difficult to reach every surface for proper cleaning. Over time, those with orthodontic problems may be more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. To keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy through adulthood, we recommend seeking early orthodontic treatment.

What to Expect

At your child’s first appointment, we will take x-rays and photographs to evaluate the bone structure and development of your child’s teeth. Then, Dr. Durham will complete an oral exam, reviewing your child’s bite for any inconsistencies and spacing issues. We recommend talking to your child about what to expect to help prepare for the first visit.

If you’re ready to schedule your child’s first orthodontic appointment, contact us today!