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When is the Right Time for My Child to Get Braces?

We understand you want your child to have the best smile possible. It’s normal to have questions and concerns about getting braces for your child, as it can sometimes be difficult to grasp all the information about children’s braces.

The most asked questions are: What age can a child get braces, and when should a child get braces? Like many other dental-related questions, braces are subject to the individual child. While you may have your own experiences with braces, your child may have different requirements.

Other factors like genetics and oral healthcare play a role in deciding if braces are suitable for your child. Let’s dive into answering your questions about the right time for your child to get braces.

Is there a specific age when a child should get braces?

Every child is different and has different orthodontic needs, which makes assigning a specific age for braces impossible.

However, the rule of thumb is children should visit an orthodontist at the age of seven. Whether or not you think your child needs braces, an early appointment with the orthodontist can give you a head start with planning, if necessary.

What can I expect at the appointment?

Visiting the orthodontist early does not mean treatment will be prescribed. Generally, we’ll only provide orthodontic treatment when the child has lost their primary (baby) teeth, and most of the adult (permanent) teeth have grown in. If your child requires early treatment, we can provide the necessary preventive care.

During the appointment, we use a panoramic x-ray to review the eruption of the teeth. This will also allow us to detect any teeth that may become impacted, or not erupt on their own, with periodic monitoring.

We’ll also answer any additional questions or concerns you may have about your child’s orthodontic needs.

When is early treatment necessary?

Early treatment is usually recommended if your child has an underbite, crossbite, or a thumb or finger-sucking habit. In this case, we may recommend sectional braces or other appliances which can help avoid permanent tooth extractions, jaw surgery, or jaw asymmetries.

Early treatment can also help prevent minor airway issues or other more serious problems that cannot be addressed once the child’s jaw stops growing. Dr. Pratt will be able to provide any advice on early treatment during your appointment.

What orthodontic issues can braces treat?

Many orthodontic issues can be addressed with braces. Some of the most common include overcrowding, uneven bite, crooked teeth, crossbites, overbite, underbite, and protruding teeth.

Other signs that your child may need braces include facial asymmetry, thumb or finger sucking, speech difficulties, and early or delayed loss of baby teeth.

What type of braces can children get?

Traditional braces with wires, rubber bands, or brackets are the most common type of braces for children. These can treat a wider range of orthodontic issues compared to other braces, like clear aligners.

While clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are effective, they will not be able to treat crossbite problems properly. Younger patients are also often more compliant with traditional braces, as they do not require removal, as clear aligners do. Additionally, patients must wear clear aligners for around 22 hours a day, and this requirement is often difficult for kids to meet.

However, children can get Invisalign and other clear aligner braces, and we have provided many successful orthodontic treatments with clear aligners. These cases require special consultation with the orthodontist, child, and parents. Additionally, clear aligners for children are typically only appropriate for children in their teenage years.

Will dental insurance cover braces for my child?

Coverage will depend on your child’s insurance plan. The cost of children’s braces will vary depending on the type of braces required and other factors such as length of treatment and other appliances.

A member of our team can help review your insurance plan and explain the different financial options and costs to you. We’ll also be able to answer any questions you may have before scheduling the treatment for your child.

How can I get started at Dr. Kendra Pratt’s office?

Getting started with us is easy. Just get in touch with our team, and we’ll help schedule a complimentary consultation appointment. We’ll also be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about getting braces for your child.

Dr. Kendra Pratt is a Board-Certified Orthodontist and has been serving patients in the greater Houston area for years. We provide orthodontic services to children and adults in two locations. Call us at The Woodlands, Texas, (281) 367-0050 or Montgomery, Texas at (936) 596-1200.

If you’re interested to find out more about children’s braces, get in touch with us today to book a complimentary consultation.

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