Many dentists will recommend that your child sees an orthodontist around the age of 7. This is because, at this point in development, an orthodontist will be able to note any signs of crowded teeth or other alignment issues. Alignment issues are not only visual, in many cases, crowding can lead to problems with bite alignment that can cause jaw problems down the road. In this article, we will cover a few of the common questions parents have about braces for teenagers and children. If you have any specific questions for your child or would like to speak to a dentist, please contact us.
Many children get braces while they still have some baby teeth. Whether or not that is the right choice for your child, will depend on a few factors. The best thing you can do is bring your child to an orthodontist or family dentist and have them provide their opinion. An orthodontist might recommend waiting until your child has lost their baby teeth and more permanent teeth have grown in. However, children who are already having dental issues due to alignment problems like crowding or a severe overbite might get braces at a younger age. Certain orthodontic issues can actually cause problems for permanent teeth as they come-in. Correcting these problems can make it easier for permanent teeth to grow into the proper places.
there is a braces plan that many orthodontists use called the interceptive approach. This plan involves children getting braces twice in their lifetime. First the child gets braces when they are younger to help guide baby teeth and correct issues like overbites or underbites. Then the braces are removed as the baby teeth fall out naturally and the adult teeth come-in. Braces are reapplied as needed and for a shorter period of time to correct any alignment issues with the adult teeth. Different orthodontists have mixed opinions on the traditional approach (one set of braces) vs the interceptive approach. Some orthodontists argue that a traditional approach is easier for a child as the braces are added at an older age when the child can better take care of them. Other orthodontists recommend the interceptive approach because the second round of braces is usually quicker than if children waited to get braces. The best option is always to talk it over with an orthodontist and family dentist.
Invisalign braces and other similar products are designed to be removable. Many adults who either had braces as children or never had braces choose to use Invisalign to correct small issues with crooked or crowded teeth. Invisalign braces aren’t for everyone though and can’t always correct larger issues. Additionally, Invisalign braces are often not recommended for younger children as they require more discipline. Traditional braces are attached to the teeth and are not removable. Invisalign braces only work so long as the patient wears them for the recommended 22+ hours per day.