Braces are often viewed as a rite of passage that many adolescents and young teens wear. They are an effective treatment for correcting tooth and jaw alignment, addressing not only aesthetic issues but issues that can affect oral health and quality of life as well. While braces are often associated with children between the ages of 10 and 14, many parents are surprised to find that orthodontic care starts much earlier. OHIOSmiles can help.
Early Orthodontic Evaluations
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, or AAPD, recommends that children receive an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. At this age, the adult teeth have begun developing below the gum line, and some may have even begun to erupt. It is at this age that we can detect the presence of certain orthodontic issues, including malocclusion, a narrow jaw, or protruding teeth. We can also predict the need for treatment later on.
Issues That Can Be Addressed With Early Orthodontics
There are many issues that can be addressed with early orthodontics. At such a young age, the jaws are still growing, which means they can more easily adapt to corrective devices.
Issues that can be addressed with early orthodontics include:
- Premature loss of baby teeth.
- Improper spacing.
- Teeth not meeting properly when your child closes their mouth.
- Protruding front teeth.
- Speech impediments.
- A shifting jaw when your child opens and closes their mouth.
- Thumb sucking.
Early treatment is referred to as Phase I, as many children will require further treatment as they get older. However, by providing treatment early, we can help to make treatment with braces much more effective.
What Is The Recommended Age For Braces?
While all children are recommended to get an early orthodontic evaluation, braces are typically not placed until between the ages of 10 and 14. This is done after all of the adult teeth have erupted. There are many different types of braces available today, including traditional metal braces, lingual braces, clear braces, and clear aligners. The exact length of treatment varies from patient to patient. We can help determine the best type of treatment and how long treatment should be used, to provide your child with the best results possible.
Why Get Braces?
Braces are often thought to be a way to enhance the beauty of the smile. While this is a major benefit of orthodontic treatment, it is not the only one. Braces provide several other significant benefits including:
- Reducing the risk for cavities and gum disease. Straight teeth are much easier to keep clean, eliminating hiding places for plaque and bacteria.
- Reducing the risk of tooth damage by evening the distribution of chewing pressures.
- Preventing uneven wear on teeth.
- Eliminating bruxism and TMJ disorder.
Even though braces are often used around the ages of 10 to 14, an early orthodontic evaluation is still an important part of the process. With this evaluation, we can address some different issues, making treatment with braces easier when your child is older. For more information, and to schedule an evaluation for your child, call OHIOSmiles at (740) 439-2501 today.