Posted on July 9, 2020
Yes, but keep reading. We aren’t asking you to promise us your unborn child. We just want to give your child another reason to smile. At Lineberger Orthodontics in Charlotte, Huntersville, Mooresville, we help kids, teens, and adults achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.
Complicated answer, it depends. Orthodontic treatment does not discriminate on age or gender. It depends on the patient’s mouth, jaw, and facial size and if there are underlying issues with the bite or teeth. Several factors are considered when determining if braces are necessary.
Bring the whole family! Kids, teens, and adults may need braces to straighten the teeth and align the jaw. Chances are if you or your spouse had braces as a child, your kid may need braces too. Those darn genetics! If your child used a pacifier or sucked his/her thumb, braces may be in the future.
The good news is straight, even teeth aren’t just pretty; they are healthier and easier to brush and floss. Score! Braces win in the cosmetic and functionality departments.
Braces produce smile swagger. However, the primary purpose of orthodontics is to create a healthy, functional bite. This includes proper tooth alignment and jaw position.
Common reasons kids (and adults) need braces include:
Although there isn’t an exact age for a child to start seeing an orthodontist, remember that dental care is absolutely important for even the youngest children. However, preschoolers still have all of their baby teeth and don’t need to see an orthodontist. (Phew…breathe that sigh of relief that you have a few more years.)
If your dentist has suggested an orthodontic appointment, chances are that it’s time. Your child sees the dentist every six months for exams and probably gets x-rays yearly. The dental team monitors your child’s development and may notice changes that you cannot see.
However, you do not have to wait for a dentist’s approval to see an orthodontist. If you notice something off about your child’s teeth or mouth, you can schedule the consultation yourself.
We know it was exciting when your baby got his/her first tooth. It’s just as exciting when they lose those teeth. When that happens and the permanent teeth start coming in, children’s mouths are faced with a new set of demands. Is there enough room for these new monster-sized teeth? Are they crowding and overshadowing the rest of the mouth?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children start seeing an orthodontist for an evaluation by age 7. *Gasp* Yes, your first or second grader may be ready for an orthodontist appointment. No, it’s not too late if your child is older and hasn’t seen us yet.
Why does the AAO recommend early orthodontic treatment? Children at this age have started losing teeth. They have a mix of little baby teeth and bulky permanent teeth. (Admit it, the first permanent teeth to come in looked way too big for your child’s face.) At 7, children’s faces and jaws are still developing. By going in for an assessment at a young age, the orthodontist can check for and start to watch potential problems.
WARNING: This does NOT mean your child is getting braces now!
It’s just a little peek to see how the mouth is developing. Early check-ups mean potential issues are caught and addressed before they have time to develop into big problems. Some problems are just easier to address before all of the permanent teeth come in.
On average, orthodontic treatment for kids starts between ages 9 and 16, depending on the patient’s physiological needs. If you wait until all of the permanent teeth come in, you may wait too long. Once facial growth has stopped, orthodontic correction becomes more difficult. Some problems cannot be addressed once the face and jaws stop growing.
Put simply, don’t complicate things. Make an orthodontist appointment and get that smile swagger.
The Smile Squad at Lineberger Orthodontics helps kids and adults achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. Our practice offers braces and InvisalignⓇ (Diamond Plus Provider and in the top 1% in the world…pretty impressive) to adults, teenagers, and kids.
Depending on your child’s needs, the early orthodontic treatment may be one or two phases. Yes, you read that correctly, treatment may be done twice. This produces optimal correction in treating the problems contributing to the overall function of the teeth and jaw. Your child’s orthodontist creates a treatment plan that may include expanders, appliances, braces, and/or Invisalign.
Get your child off on the right foot (not the left one) with an orthodontic assessment. Let us check out those pearly whites so he/she can smile on with a healthy mouth, straight teeth, and a properly aligned jaw.