Dr. Wes Chladny of Spring Hill’s Dr. Wes Orthodontics answers parents’ questions and concerns regarding their child’s orthodontic care.
Q: “My daughter is only 8 but she has several classmates already in braces. Should she be starting treatment right now?”
Dr. Wes Says:
Thanks for the question. This is a great follow-up to a previous discussion about the timing of a child’s first orthodontic evaluation. We do not believe widespread orthodontic treatment of 7, 8, 9, or even 10-year-old children is supported by the best available research or our experience treating thousands of patients. However, some children do benefit from treatment of very specific problems around this age. In these instances, the problem, treatment plan, and treatment goals should be well explained and understood. The reason for not delaying treatment until the child has lost all or most of his/her baby teeth should also be clear. If these criteria are not met, seek another opinion. You may very well save yourself a lot of money and your child the unenviable experience of having braces twice.
When Should a Younger Child Get Braces?
Some indications for orthodontic treatment in 7 to 10-year-old children are:
- Crossbites of back teeth or front teeth
- Thumb or finger sucking habits
- Extreme protrusion of top front teeth (buck teeth) that makes them prone to injury
- Significant crowding that is preventing permanent teeth from coming in
- Self-esteem/teasing issues
This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers most of the indications for early orthodontic treatment. Most children only need one round of orthodontic treatment and are ready for braces when they have lost all of their baby (primary) teeth and most or all of their permanent teeth have come in. Every child is different, but this can usually be expected between 11.5-13 years old. Give our office a call at (615) 282-5038 if you have any other questions about this topic!
Dr. Wes Orthodontics provides exceptional orthodontic care for patients of all ages in a small, boutique setting. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call (615) 282-5038 or book online.