Braces aren't just for teenagers. Do you remember your first trip to the orthodontist during your teen years? Even though the picture of a teen's mouth tied-up in shiny metal brackets used to be the image of orthodontics, children are starting these smile-saving devices earlier than ever.
Are you wondering what age is too young for your child to start braces? Consider a few facts on modern orthodonture and when to begin braces:
1. Early treatment allows orthodontist to fix skeletal or alignment issues, according to the District of Columbia Dental Society.
2. Your child's first check-up should happen early on, suggests the American Association of Orthodontists. How early? While you don't need to tote your preschooler off to the orthodontist office, your child's first visit should be by 7-years-old.
3. There's no need to wait until all of your child's baby teeth fall out. In some cases, the orthodontist actually has an easier time correcting problems before your child's adult teeth come in.
4. The orthodontist can use your child's natural growth patterns to her advantage. Some correction techniques work best when used before puberty starts. During this time your child is still growing, making her jaw structure easier to manipulate. Even though there's still plenty of time to correct problem issues, the orthodontist may have an easier time helping your child earlier on.
5. Orthodonture may not start with braces. Moving teeth, fixing a misaligned bite and alleviating crowding don't always require a permanent device. Retainers and other functional appliances help to correct these issues before your child starts braces. This means that your child undergoes a two-step process, starting with a removable device and then moving on to braces. This may shorten the time that she has her braces.
6. Getting a jump on orthondonture may cut costs. While you can't guarantee that beginning braces (or another mouth-moving device) will definitely drop the bill, it may reduce the amount of overall time that your child needs treatment. A shorter treatment time doesn't just make your child smile, it also means that you pay less.
7. Starting braces early on isn't always for everyone. Different problems require different types of treatments. Only a trained, licensed orthodontist can tell you if your child can benefit from beginning before the teen years. This is why an early first trip, during the elementary years, is so important to your child's treatment.
Whether your child starts orthodonture at age 7 or 17, the first visit to the pro's office can start her on the path to a healthy mouth. (for more information, contact Orthodontic Specialists of Wooster)