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Wearing Braces Could be Fun: When Should Your Child Start

Oral hygiene is a very important aspect of maintaining our overall health, and even more so when it comes to our children. Visiting a dentist is something we should get our children used to from the early age, since that is the person who will be monitoring their teeth growth and jaw development. But, how do you know when it’s ok for your child to start wearing braces? And what are the reasons for getting them in the first place? Here is some advice on the topic.

Why should my child get orthodontic braces?

You should have your child visit an orthodontist no later than at the age of seven. Although you may think this is too early, it really isn’t. By their seventh birthday, children should already have enough permanent teeth for your orthodontist to realize if there is a problem or not, even if some of their baby teeth have still not fallen out. These problems vary from child to child and may include class II bite, underbite, overbite, spacing, crowding, or impacted teeth. Class II bite means that the child has an overgrown upper jaw, an undergrown lower jaw, or a combination of the two. Underbite happens when the lower front teeth stand in front of upper front teeth, which happens when the lower jaw extends in front of the upper jaw, and overbite is the opposite – when upper teeth cover lower teeth too excessively. Spacing is when the teeth are too far apart, usually due to small or missing teeth, while crowding means that there isn’t enough space for all the teeth to erupt normally. If a tooth is impacted, it means it cannot grow into its normal position. This sometimes happens simply because the tooth is growing in the wrong direction, but it can also be a result of crowding. You may not yet notice any of the symptoms of the mentioned problems in your child, but your orthodontist will. Catching a problem early will allow your orthodontist to follow your child’s development and start treatment at the best possible time.

When is it not too soon to get orthodontic braces?

Braces are usually given to children between age 9 and 14, but some orthodontists believe it should be between 7 and 10 years of age. This is when children start getting their permanent teeth and their baby teeth fall out. However, there is no fixed answer. The condition of the child’s jaw or teeth is the essential factor in determining when it’s best to start the treatment, as well as the type of kids braces the child should get. Some experts will wait for all the baby teeth to fall out and the permanent ones to emerge, but others may not wait that long and will give your child braces while they still have some of their baby teeth. This is why it is important to consult trusted child orthodontists like those at www.orthoworx.com . Starting treatment early makes sense, since young children’s bones are softer and flexible. This means it’s much easier to get their jaws to grow into a normal shape. Also, young children will get used to the braces more quickly. Early intervention can prevent certain conditions, like crowding. Plus, the younger the children are, the faster they grow, so the treatment is expected to take less time with younger kids.

Who should I trust?

When you ask when the best time is for your child to get braces, you might get completely different answers from each specialist you talk to. So, how do you know for sure who to trust? There are no guarantees, but there are steps you can take to make sure your orthodontist knows what they are doing. First, make sure you see your doctor’s diploma. An orthodontist is a dentist with two years of additional training, you can read more about the requirements at www.doctorly.org . When you see their diploma, it should have “Dip. Ortho” behind their name. You could also ask about the training your doctor’s had in the latest technology and treatment methods. Next, try to find out what their other patients say; if they were happy with the treatment and the doctor’s overall attitude towards them and work. Last, but not least, take your child with you to see if they like the doctor and their staff. You need to trust the orthodontist, but so does your child. If your kid does get braces, you will have to see this doctor regularly for up to two years, so you want your little one to feel as comfortable as possible with the person treating them.
So, if you’re unsure of when it’s not too early for your child to start wearing braces, find a specialist you trust and see what they have to say about it.

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