When Should My Child Get Braces?

When you notice that your child’s teeth have gaps or are crooked, you may wonder when is the right time for braces. The right time for braces depends on how many baby teeth your child has left and the severity of his or her bite problems and if those problems affect your child’s speech or ability to chew. Our dentist can discuss potential orthodontic treatments, including braces, and answer your questions during any pediatric appointment.

Average Ages for Childhood Braces

Our dentist in Melbourne and Indiana Harbor Beach can start discussing and planning for braces and other orthodontic treatments when your child reaches seven years of age. Children usually get braces between the ages of 10 and 14. Children who are good candidates for braces have lost most of their baby teeth, and the majority of their adult teeth have fully emerged.

How to Start the Process of Braces

If you are considering braces for your child, it is best to talk to your child first. Braces, especially traditional metal braces, will affect your child’s appearance, and braces need to be worn and cleaned properly for the duration of treatment, which can last between 12 and 30 months. If your child is opposed to metal braces, there are clear braces available that are less noticeable. If your child is hesitant to get braces or doesn’t understand braces, our dentist can explain the types of braces available to your child and the treatment process in language that he or she can easily understand.

Benefits of Early Dental Intervention

It is recommended that children get braces because the bones in their faces and jaws are still developing. This can decrease treatment time and help ensure the teeth remain in their new places after the jaw has stopped growing.

Types of Braces Available for Children

As a parent, you may have heard of clear retainers that are available for teeth straightening. While they are effective at straightening teeth, they are not approved your use in young teenagers or children. Instead, alignment retainers, like Invisalign, are recommended for older teenagers and adults.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are made of metal and have a silver appearance in the mouth. The brackets are adhered to the teeth and connected via a metal wire. Treatment can take between 12 and 30 months. Due to their extreme noticeability, some children may be opposed to traditional braces.

Clear Ceramic Braces

Clear ceramic braces can also be used to effectively straighten the teeth. Like traditional braces, the brackets are glued onto the teeth and a silver metal wire is used to connect the braces and help move the teeth. Since these braces are clear, they are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces. However, the wire is still metal colored. The treatment time for clear braces is the same as for metal braces.

After Your Child’s Teeth Straightening Treatment

Once your child’s braces are removed and the teeth are straight, he or she will have to wear a retainer for a certain period of time in order to prevent the teeth from moving back into their original places. Once your child’s face and jaw have stopped growing, it may not be necessary to continue wearing the retainer. Our dentist can help you decide.

Getting Your Braces Questions Answered

Our dentist in Melbourne and Indian Harbor Beach can help you decide if your child needs braces and the right time to begin treatment. We recommend getting a consultation by the age of seven if you think your child will need braces in the future. From that point, we can develop a treatment plan and decide if any early orthodontic treatments will benefit your child or decrease the duration of future treatments, like braces.

To learn more about braces for your child and to schedule a pediatric checkup, call us today. To schedule an appointment at our Melbourne dentist’s office, call us at 321-254-7755. To schedule an appointment at our Indian Harbor location, call us at 321-777-1225.