Deciding When your Children Need Braces: 6 Factors to Consider
Most parents make it a point to care for their child’s health and well-being as they develop. For those who work to maintain their children’s oral health, it’s important to consider braces to ensure that the teeth have proper placement for a beautiful and healthy smile.
1. Misalignment of Teeth
It’s important to look at the alignment of your child’s teeth, as orthodontic treatment is often needed early on for those with extreme misalignment. Crowding problems can begin as early as seven years of age, which may require tooth extraction to prevent crowding of permanent teeth.
2. The Orthodontic Evaluation
Children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation between the ages of five and seven years old when their primary teeth are still in place. This will determine if there are any current risks with the teeth and if treatment should begin in the next few years.
3. Their Age
In most cases, children should not begin their orthodontic treatment until their permanent teeth have completely grown in. This most often occurs between the ages of eight and 14. Some children grow at a faster rate, making it important for a professional to evaluate their teeth and determine when their teeth will benefit the most from braces.
4. Eruption of Molars
For many kids, braces are put on after molars have erupted to prevent movement while the braces are already installed. Their molars should be inspected, as well as x-rays taken to determine when the molars will come in.
5. Your Child’s Gender
Both boys and girls have different growth patterns, which can determine their bite. Boys often continue growing until the age of 18, while girls grow until age 16, which can cause their bite to change well after braces are put on.
6. Their Bite
For children with a crossbite, underbite, or overbite, it can affect the placement of teeth and even lead to TMJ and receding gums. Have their bite evaluated by a professional and consider the risks involved, as well as if it may progress.
When determining when your children need orthodontic treatment, it’s important to remember that each person is different with the care that is needed. A professional will be able to evaluate the teeth and offer several options. Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to determine when they want their children to receive the oral care to ensure that it’s an efficient process that doesn’t become prolonged or interrupted.