December 27, 2017

What Age Should a Child Get Braces?

One of the top questions we receive from parents is “When should my child get braces?” The answer to this really depends on the individual child, but 7 years old is the magic number for when children should have their first orthodontic exam.

Why Should Children Receive an Orthodontic Exam at 7 Years Old?

Although every child’s development is different, most children have their first adult molars come in around 6 years old. The adult molars coupled with other developmental markers mean Dr. Dunn and Dr. Schreiber can often tell if your child will need braces in the future.

“Children often exhibit signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop,” says Dr. Dunn, “A jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. Each child’s speed and process of development is different, but early orthodontic treatment can be hugely beneficial for the future.”

How early can my child have braces?

Treatment for common orthodontic problems typically begins around ages 9 – 14, when all of the baby teeth have fallen out and many permanent teeth have grown in. Dr. Alex Schreiber adds that, “When your child comes in for an early evaluation, there are certain conditions that are much easier to treat if caught at an early age.” In most cases, if we feel that your child will need orthodontic care we will monitor your child’s growth and development until it’s the most effective time to begin treatment.

If your child is ready for their first orthodontic evaluation, request a free exam today! We can answer any questions you may have and begin evaluating your child’s tooth and jaw development.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic screening at age 7 to determine if early treatment is right for your child. In most cases, if orthodontic work is needed, one of our orthodontists will simply monitor your child’s growth patterns until the best time for treatment is determined. Early intervention can minimize the need for more costly and complex care later on in a child’s life.

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