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What Age Should A Child Get Braces?

Should my child see the orthodontist at Age 7 seven?

While most children will not need orthodontic treatment at age 7 and an orthodontist mostly will not recommend treatment, there will be some cases when intervention will be beneficial. For example, early orthodontic treatment will be especially beneficial and important for some children, who are at certain critical stages in their dental and jaw development. Sometimes early orthodontic treatment is also called Phase one 1 treatment. The need or not can be assessed by specially trained dental specialists, called orthodontists.

If early Phase one 1 treatment opportunities are missed, then later treatment will become much more extensive and may need to involve aspects that we all want to avoid, like teeth removal, dental extractions and sometimes even jaw surgery. This can be avoided by the child visiting the orthodontist early, at age seven 7.

What age should a child see the specialist orthodontist?

A referral to a specialist orthodontist should be requested if you are visiting a general dentist. This is because general dentists are general, meaning that they are not specially trained in early orthodontic needs. General dentists may be interested in orthodonitc problems, which is truly excellent, but still general dentists are not fully skilled in identifying  and knowing all about all the early orthodontic needs and early opportunities that may or may not apply to young children. That is why we have specialist orthodontists.

When it comes to getting braces for children, it’s hard to guess the right time. So the best plan is to go early to a specialist and check it out. Every individual and every smile is unique and different, so  when your child should get braces depends upon several factors, including their general stage of maturity and development and what is going on in their case in many aspects. There will be higher risks and needs  your child has protrusive teeth, very crooked teeth, very overcrowded teeth, very misaligned teeth, deep or large overbite, chewing issues and speech issues and breathing issues, or a noticeable smile imperfection that is of concern to parents. In all of these cases, don’t take the chacnce, it will be best and give you peace of mind that you did everything the best for your child, so to go and speak with your nearby specialist orthodontist for true specialist orthodontist assessment and advice.

Factors that influence When a Child Should Get Braces

Deciding when your child gets braces will be based on a number of factors that your specialist orthodontist will take into consideration, including:

  • The severity of the case
  • If the type of problem has an orthodontic solution at the current age of the child.
  • The presence of all adult permanent teeth is not a factor, as child orthodontic treatment does not depend on adult teeth.

The Different Phases of Orthodontic Treatment

If your child has a more complex case, your orthodontist may recommend starting treatment for braces earlier, typically between ages five and ten. In this age range, the treatment is referred to as Phase One 1, and serves to prepare the mouth for braces with appliances such as partial braces or palatal expanders. While appropriate for some patients, not all children will need treatment this early.

In less complex cases, your child may be advised that the best treatment will be to to wait until all of their permanent adult teeth have arrived in  the mouth.

Age When Permanent Teeth Arrive in the Mouth

Age When Baby Teeth Arrive in the Mouth

First permanent (six-year-old) molar teeth begin to appear in the mouth (oral cavity) around age six years of age, The front teeth (incisors) arrive between ages seven 7 and eight 8 of age, and the side and back teeth all come in between age eleven 11 to thirteen 13 years of age. Orthodontic treatment is definitely beneficial in the right cases, before all teeth arrive, and during the time that that they are arriving and, of course, after they all arrive.

Age 10 to 13 years is when most children get comprehensive and full braces to correct their smile when they do not have Phase One 1 treatment.

Wisdom teeth are not due until between 17-21 years.

All these dates can be somewhat different and it does not mean anything is wrong.

Talk to Your Orthodontist

Because it depends on a variety of factors, whether or not your child is at the right age should be discussed with an orthodontist. Most orthodontists agree the first appointment for assessment should be around age six or seven to catch opportunities for a few people. From there the ususal action is to treat or arrange Annual Review visits until the right time for orthodontic treatment for your child.

To discuss your child’s orthodontic care, book an appointment with Dr Geoffrey Wexler Orthodontist, in Melbourne.

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