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Can Your Child Get Braces on Just One Row of Teeth?

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teen boy with braces looking excited

It’s no secret that childhood orthodontic treatment can be quite costly, but many parents believe they have figured out a way to help their child get the care they need while also protecting their budget—instead of putting braces on all of the teeth, why not just apply them to one row? Let the orthodontist pick whichever arch needs more help, and that’s that, right? Not exactly. Any orthodontist for kids will tell you this is a bad idea, and to find out why, keep reading below.

Why All of the Teeth Need Braces

Shifting the teeth to create a more attractive and healthy smile is a very delicate science. Because of this, in order to become orthodontists, dentists have to complete years of advanced training focused on this specialty after finishing four years of dental school.

The reason that orthodontics is so complicated is because changing the position of one tooth can greatly affect ALL of the other teeth on both rows. When an orthodontist is moving the teeth, it’s not just the position of the individual pearly whites that matter, but also how they come together to form the bite.

If the bite is misaligned, this can make it much harder for a child to speak clearly and chew comfortably, plus this can also place strain on the jaw joint, leading to chronic stiffness and pain in the head and face.

Applying braces to one row of teeth without doing anything to the other row is almost guaranteed to create a mismatch in how the bite comes together, creating all sorts of short-term and long-term oral health problems. This is why orthodontists will almost never do it, though it is possible in very, very rare cases.

Other Ways to Make Orthodontic Care Affordable

So, it’s easy to understand why your child should get braces on all of their teeth—their health and comfort come first—but this doesn’t solve the initial problem…affordability.

Thankfully, most orthodontists offer several ways to make treatment affordable even on the tightest budget. A few include:

  • Accepting any dental insurance plan that has orthodontic benefits
  • Offering FREE initial consultations and X-rays
  • Low down payments
  • A sizeable discount for paying for an entire treatment upfront
  • 0% interest in-house financing

If your child needs braces, you don’t need to compromise on their care, nor do you have to break the bank. When you sit down with your child’s orthodontist, be sure to explain your situation, and they’ll be happy to discuss all the ways they can make paying for your child’s treatment easy and stress-free.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a board-certified orthodontist who has helped thousands of children get the straight, healthy, and confident smiles they deserve using his award-winning expertise. If your child requires braces, but you’re worried about finances, he and our team would love to meet you and put your concerns to rest. You can learn more about Shirck Orthodontics’ flexible payment options here, and to schedule a FREE in-person consultation for you and your little one, click here.