Trying to figure out if your child needs braces and when to get them can feel overwhelming. Before making any decisions, you need to find an orthodontist you trust and have a complete evaluation. Read through the following question and answers to learn more about early orthodontic treatment.
When should I take my child to the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests you schedule an initial consultation about the time your child turns seven. By this age, enough permanent teeth have come in and enough jaw growth has occurred that the orthodontist can identify any problems.
Are there any early signs of problems?
Although you should always consult an orthodontist for any diagnosis, you can look at your child’s bite. If the top teeth line up exactly with the bottom teeth and no gaps or spaces are visible, your child may not need orthodontic therapy. Other issues such as an underbite or overbite may be immediately noticeable.
Won’t my child outgrow the issue?
If you child has a bad bite, it won’t correct itself. In fact, the malocclusion may worsen if you don’t seek proper treatment. As your child gets older, therapy may be more painful, so an early evaluation is critical.
What is the purpose of early orthodontic treatment?
With early treatment, your orthodontist can eliminate the need for more drastic measures at a later time. In some cases, results won’t be as successful once your child’s jaw and face have finished growing.
Will my child need to have teeth removed?
Usually, extraction is not part of orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will only pull teeth if he or she can’t make enough room for all your child’s teeth.