How Young is Too Young: A Guide to what Age is ideal to start Braces

Kids might not be bothered by their crooked smiles, but should you, as a parent, take them to the Dentist to evaluate the way they bite to make sure that their teeth are positioned properly?

Are they too young to start braces?

There are a lot of things to be considered when is the right time to start braces. We’ve put together this guide to help you answer that question.

So let’s get started!

It’s a good idea to get an Orthodontic Evaluation by the time a child is seven years old.

But this doesn’t mean the Orthodontist or the Dentist will start treatment this early.

When your child turns seven, their back bite has finished growing in. This means the Dentist will be able to evaluate the relationships of your child’s teeth—both side-to-side and front-to-back.

An early evaluation like this allows the dentist to find any current problems and predict any future problems that are likely to occur. Based on what they see, they can then figure out the best treatment plan for your child.

How Early Can Kids Start Braces?

Traditionally, treatment with dental braces begins when a child has lost most of his or her baby (primary) teeth, and a majority of the adult (permanent) teeth have grown in —usually between the ages of 8 and 14. If treatment is needed during this time, Interceptive or Preventive care can take advantage of your child’s growth to guide the intended result as development takes place.

Some dentists recommend what’s called an Interceptive approach, ( if it is really necessary) which involves using dental appliances (not always dental braces) at an earlier age, while a child still has mostly baby teeth. Then, when a child has mainly adult teeth, a second phase of treatment is started, usually with dental braces. This second phase is thought by some to be shorter than a traditional course of braces if an early treatment has been done.

The best choice for you and your child will largely depend on the severity of your child’s dental problems. Talk with your child’s dentist or orthodontist about the best course of action.

The effects you get from Orthodontic Treatment will last the rest of their lives (if they continue to take care of their teeth and wear their retainer).

Signs Your Child Might Need Braces at a Young Age

While most kids won’t need braces at the early age of seven, some definitely do.

If your child has bite problems or overcrowded teeth, they might have a hard time chewing or talking. These problems can also lead to jaw strain and gum damage.

Here are a few signs your child might need braces at a young age:

  • Difficulty chewing and biting
  • Misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Constant cheek biting
  • Teeth that don’t meet
  • Their teeth or jaw are out of proportion to their face
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Mouth breathing
  • Protruding or recessed jaw
  • Their jaw makes sounds

If you notice any of these signs, you might have to take your child to the dentist even earlier than seven.

Talk to your dentist so that they can discuss the best treatment plan for your child.

Not sure how to find an orthodontist near you?

We can help! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions today!

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