Deciding whether or not to get braces for your child is a big decision – you’re right to question whether or not now is the right time.
New technology and innovation have made braces more affordable and less intrusive than ever. However, orthodontic treatments are still a substantial investment both in terms of time and money.
Plus, you don’t want to put your child through the hassle of braces and regular orthodontic visits if it’s not absolutely necessary. So how do you know if your child needs braces?
It’s not always easy to tell.
Fortunately, scheduling a consultation to answer the question “when should my child get braces” is easy and can clear up any outstanding questions this post doesn’t answer.
Does My Child Need Braces? Here’s Why Braces Are Important
If you or your partner either wore children’s braces yourself or could have benefited from wearing braces, chances are, your children will fit into those categories too.
Tooth alignment is genetic. Whether the issue is a crooked jaw, crowded teeth, an underbite, or overbite, all of these problems are inherited from parents.
It’s not uncommon for adults to wear braces these days. In fact, both adults and children have more options than ever for achieving a great smile.
Orthodontics goes beyond just straightening your teeth. Misaligned teeth, bite problems, and overcrowding can cause several health problems well into adulthood.
- Headaches and migraines
- Difficulty cleaning can lead to frequent cavities, decay, and gingivitis
- Wearing away essential enamel
- Pain from tension in facial muscles
- Difficulty chewing or talking
- Increasing the likelihood of breaking teeth
- Confidence issues that interfere with employment and social interactions
This isn’t to scare you but rather to explain how oral health affects several aspects of health and overall wellbeing.
When Should My Child Get Braces? 7 Signs that Now Is the Time
Now that you understand how braces can help, you’re probably wondering “how do I know if my child needs braces” or “when should my child get braces?”
You likely remember going through braces or seeing your friends with children’s braces in middle school. New innovations in orthodontic technology and research means that younger children are now wearing braces.
The truth is, the ideal age for orthodontist visits is about seven. This is because your child’s bones are more malleable and his adult teeth have just started to make their descent. For these reasons, your child will have to wear braces for less time overall than if you were to wait until all of his adult teeth have erupted. Ask your pediatric dentist for an early orthodontist screening to see if your child is a candidate for braces at a younger age.
How do you know if your child needs braces now? Here are some signs to watch out for that could indicate a misalignment:
- Trouble chewing or biting
- Biting his cheek or parts of his mouth when he eats or talks
- Large spaces in between his teeth
- Missing teeth.
- Jaw problems like clicking, popping, or shifting
- Teeth looking overcrowded
- Overbite or underbite
If you notice any of these problems before the age of seven, you don’t need to wait. Younger children with bite problems can also benefit from orthodontic treatments.
Does My Child Really Need Braces Now? Can I Wait or Skip Them Entirely?
As mentioned, braces are crucial for ensuring proper oral and overall health into adulthood.
If your child’s teeth remain overcrowded or he has an underbite as an adult, this can cause many problems like tooth decay, cavities, and jaw pain.
When your child starts losing baby teeth – especially if he starts losing them very early – this can interfere with the alignment of adult teeth. Adult teeth will shift or migrate to compensate for the extra space.
Early visits around age seven will give your orthodontist a good idea of potential treatment options and teeth alignment.
Sure, you can wait but that means your child will likely experience more orthodontist visits and have to wear braces for a longer period of time.
Remember that young children’s teeth are much easier to straighten than pre-teens, teenagers, and adults. Plus, it may be easier for a young child to go through the hassle of wearing braces versus a pre-teen – at least when it comes to social issues.
How do you know if your child needs braces for sure?
The only way to be certain is to meet with an orthodontist for a consultation.
Advancements in Children’s Braces
If you’ve answered yes to the question “does my child need braces,” you’re in luck because you have several orthodontic treatment options.
- Metal braces: These high-quality stainless-steel braces are more comfortable and less noticeable than ever.
- Ceramic (clear) braces: Ceramic braces are less noticeable but slightly more fragile than metal options.
- Clear aligners: These usually aren’t placed on children but adults love the Invisalign and ClearCorrect options.
Early intervention around age seven can ensure that your child’s adult teeth form without any problems. Orthodontists will provide your child with all the tools he or she needs to remain as comfortable as possible throughout the entire treatment process.
East Gate Orthodontics Can Answer All Your Questions About Children’s Braces
East Gate Orthodontics provides comprehensive orthodontic care to patients of all ages in the Chantilly, Virginia community.
We do much more than create smiles: Our goal is to help improve confidence while encouraging growth and change.
We understand that deciding whether or not your child needs braces is a difficult choice to make. The question “does my child need braces” isn’t easy to answer. That’s why East Gate Orthodontics can provide you with an expert assessment and answer any questions you may have about the process.
If you’re wondering “when should my child get braces” or “does my child really need braces,” don’t hesitate to visit East Gate Orthodontics or contact us to schedule a consultation today.