When Is the Best Time for Kids to Get Braces?
If you had braces when you were young, you probably got them around 12 or 13 years old, and they were probably a metal monstrosity that you weren’t too happy with. These days, your children have more options and can often begin the process of straightening misalignments at a much earlier age. If your child is starting to have his or her adult teeth erupt, it is important to schedule an appointment with a Kansas City children’s orthodontist to ensure they are growing properly and without alignment issues.
Common Alignment Problems
Because baby teeth are smaller than adult teeth, and because the gaps when losing them creates extra spacing, sometimes adult teeth do not erupt exactly where they should. For some children, this means their adult teeth grow in too close together and crowd each other out. For others, it means they grow too far apart and create gaps. Overbites are another common problem. Depending on the severity of the misalignment issues, your child may receive treatment as young as seven years old, although it is still advisable to wait in some situations.
Knowing When to Wait
A good children’s orthodontist will help you determine when it’s good to get early treatment and when it’s best to wait. Sometimes, the spacing between teeth or an overbite is severe when a child’s adult teeth begin erupting. However, in many cases, the gaps will close on their own or the bottom jaw will catch up to the top as your child grows. In situations such as this, your orthodontist will likely recommend taking a “wait and see” approach. If the problem fixes itself even somewhat, it could mean less intensive treatment for your child and fewer dollars out of your bank account.
Early Treatment Options
If your child’s spacing, crowding or overbite is only minor, he or she may qualify for an interceptive treatment that keeps the problem from getting worse. By treating minor problems early on and keeping them from becoming more severe, you can keep your child from undergoing more extensive procedures in the future and may save money on treatment. Typically, interceptive treatment occurs between 7 and 11 years old, depending on when your child’s adult teeth are coming through most rapidly.
Contact Us For More Information
Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics offers a wide variety of clear, colorful and metal options for braces, as well as other alternative treatments. To learn more about your child’s situation and set up a treatment plan, contact our children’s orthodontist in Kansas City at 816-420-8100 or in Sedalia at 660-829-2900.