A phrase you’ll hear pop up again and again is that “timing is everything,” and it actually applies to your child’s orthodontic care as well! Traditionally, many parents wait until most or all of their child’s adult teeth come in to start braces, believing this to be the best way to save time and ensure a lifelong result. But actually, getting braces well before this point can provide a tremendous benefit for some children and even help them spend less time in treatment. Would “early braces” be a good fit for your child? Learn more below from your orthodontist in Powell to find out.
What Are “Early Braces”?
“Early braces” are a type of orthodontic treatment that is applied while some of a child’s baby teeth are still present. It’s recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that every child should receive an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. Usually, at this point of development, a child will have enough permanent teeth that the orthodontist will be able to tell whether or not they’ll need braces and when they should be started.
Why Would a Child Need Early Braces?
While orthodontists agree that certain alignment issues in the teeth and jaws are best treated after all of a child’s permanent teeth have come in, early braces also provide the opportunity to intercept and prevent some problems from developing in the first place. By applying braces at an early age, an orthodontist can:
- Create more space in the mouth so the adult teeth come in as straight as possible
- Guide the growth of the jawbones to avoid the development of an overbite, underbite, or crossbite
- Correct overly crowded or spaced teeth so a child can eat and speak comfortably while growing
After early braces, a child may need to undergo a second phase of braces to straighten their adult teeth. Fortunately, this two-phase approach is actually shown to be faster than just getting braces after all of a child’s permanent teeth come in.
Could Your Child Benefit From Early Braces?
The best way to answer this question is to bring your child to an orthodontist for a full evaluation. After a gentle exam, they’ll advise you on how to move forward. While it’s recommended that your child be seen by an orthodontist around age 7, if you notice issues like crooked teeth, spaced teeth, or a misaligned bite before this, feel free to go ahead and schedule an appointment. Acting fast could help your child avoid much bigger problems and achieve a beautiful, healthy smile much sooner than if you wait!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist, proud father of 3, and graduate of The Ohio State University. He has helped countless children achieve gorgeous smiles and cut down on their treatment time with early braces, all the while making the process enjoyable and comfortable from start to finish. To learn more about this type of treatment and what it could do for your child, contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation.