When Should Your Child Get Braces?
Many parents do what they can to help their children develop in every aspect of their lives. Educational games, tutors, corrective lenses, regular doctor appointments and a good diet are all ways in which parents try to give their children the best head start possible. This is also true when it comes to orthodontic treatments which aim to help make a child’s smile appear better now as well as in the future.
When to Consider Braces
Since braces help teeth to shift into proper alignment, parents don’t even need to worry about them until their child’s baby teeth have been replaced with their adult teeth. Typically, dentists will keep an eye on the bite an alignment of a child’s teeth on each visit which will let them detect a biting or alignment problem early.
The topic of braces may begin to come up as your child enters his or her first major growth spurt between 9 and 12 years old. As with everything else, a child’s bite and teeth can grow and begin to mature during this time as well. Sometimes discussions about possible treatments can begin even earlier and there has been a surge in more children getting braces at a younger age – some as young as age 8. In theory, this helps children to get their teeth in position early on assuming their problem is one which can be treated with early help. Not all children benefit from early braces, though. This is especially true with children who have a Class II malocclusion, which is more commonly known as an overbite. There is no benefit to early orthodontic work for this kind of problem but, for children with an underbite, many doctors advise early treatment.
Knowing When to Act
Ensuring that your child gets routine dental check- ups is the best way to make sure that the need for braces is found early on. By carrying on with regular appointments, your child’s dentist will be able to detect when a problem begins. Although sometimes it will be necessary for the child’s teeth to fully emerge, having a doctor keep an eye on things will help to prevent larger problems.
As your doctor keeps an eye on tooth growth, when the time comes to talk about orthodontics, your child will probably be around 10 years old. Many times, doctors will wait until a child’s teenage years to begin worrying about braces, especially for crooked teeth or overbites. But for some dental issues, including the underbite, early treatment can offer true benefits. The best way to ensure your child gets the help they need at the right time is to ensure his or her dentist has regular appointments with your child and to immediately ask questions about dental concerns you may have for your child.
Usually, diagnostic aids like a Cephalometric radiograph will help determine the need to start early or the need to delay treatment for a while. When further growth of the bone is expected, the treatment is delayed; however, when the condition at hand calls for bone and joint remodelling and conditioning, early treatments become very useful.