When to Start Braces and Orthodontics

All parents want the best for their children, and that includes a bright and healthy smile. Deciding the right time to start orthodontics can cause concern, as letting a dental problem get too far along can have lasting consequences. To get the best advice, call the orthodontists at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Woodbridge, NJ, Harlem, NY or the Lower East Side in Manhattan. After a consultation, they can tell you the right time to start braces for your children.

What Are Braces?

Braces are dental appliances that fix problems with your teeth, such as misaligned, crooked or spaced-out teeth. Once they’re put in place, they gradually reposition teeth into correct alignment, which permits a proper bite. Children require a proper bite to chew and speak correctly. An improper bite can cause headaches, jaw pain and poor pronunciation.

But braces aren’t always the appropriate treatment for your child’s oral health issues. Pediatric orthodontic care provides whatever treatment protects and aligns your children’s teeth. Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Woodbridge, New Jersey and in Manhattan, NY is one of the most experienced practices for orthodontic treatment. Their expertise in dental health, combined with their concern for your child’s overall health make them the best choice.

When Should I Schedule an Orthodontist Visit for My Child?

The right time to start orthodontics for your child varies, depending on the evident dental problems. The right time to start braces is usually no earlier than around age seven. At this age, you may begin noticing protruding upper teeth or other oral problems.

The ideal time to schedule your first visit is when your child’s mouth and jaws are still developing. Many orthodontic issues are easier to treat if identified early. Signs your child requires an orthodontic visit include:

  • Problems biting and chewing
  • Mouth breathing
  • Poor oral habits, such as thumb sucking
  • An unbalanced facial appearance
  • Teeth biting into the cheek

How Does Orthodontic Treatment Help My Child?

Orthodontic issues like protruding front teeth are typically inherited, but they can later become more pronounced by acquired traits like thumb sucking. Pediatric orthodontists assist your children by identifying problems early and then recommending a healthier lifestyle while addressing present structural issues. So the right time to start orthodontics is when you first notice any dental misalignment. Your children benefit from an orthodontist in ways that include:

  • Straightening teeth for a proper bite. Orthodontists don’t always recommend braces because other options like Invisalign are available.
  • Promoting proper jaw growth at an early age. To ensure a proper bite, your child’s orthodontist may recommend dental appliances that guide the growth of your child’s jaw while it’s still developing.
  • Helping your child break bad oral habits. Habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can cause misalignment of your child’s teeth. A pediatric orthodontist offers strategies for correcting these habits.
  • Detecting non-erupted teeth. Early appointments with the orthodontist for your child can detect teeth that are yet to erupt. Pre-eruption guidance and appliances are another service from your Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry team.

In addition to improving your child’s ability to chew and bite properly, orthodontic treatment also improves speech. When teeth function properly, they also look good, which encourages emotional development. Straight teeth balance the entire face, protecting your child from a variety of future dental problems. Children’s soft jawbones make corrective orthodontic procedures much more efficient, laying the groundwork for a healthy mouth as an adult.

What’s the Right Time to Start Orthodontics?

Children ideally begin receiving orthodontic check-ups by age seven, but the right time to start braces depends on the type of issue your child currently has or is likely to develop. Some children need help realigning their teeth, while others need guidance as their jaws develop. The best time to visit a pediatric orthodontist to discover if your child needs braces is between the ages of 12 and 13.

By age seven, children have a mix of both baby teeth and permanent teeth. A top orthodontist like those at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry analyzes both sets of teeth. If a misalignment problem exists at this age, it’s more likely it can be addressed. But even if your child Is older than seven, it’s not too late. Children usually start orthodontic treatment between ages nine and 16, but the right time to start braces depends on their emotional and physical state. Choose an orthodontist for your child who:

  • Specializes in pediatric dentistry
  • Is properly credentialed in orthopedics
  • Has financing available
  • Offers convenient hours and locations
  • Has a fun, kid-friendly environment

What Is Multi-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Your pediatric dentist may choose multi-phase orthodontic treatment in circumstances where early treatment is appropriate. The goal of two-phase orthodontic treatment is to give your child the optimum functional and aesthetic outcome. The two phases include:

  • During this phase, your orthodontist is concerned with issues involving bite, crowding, and jaw development when your child is still young. The pediatric dentist may use space maintainers and expanders.
  • This phase starts when your child’s permanent teeth break through. If braces are required, your child can expect to have them for about 24 months.

Early orthodontic consultations with the expert team at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in NJ and in NYC can resolve a variety of pediatric orthodontic issues. They can help you decide the right time to start braces for your child and help your child benefit from both a lovely and healthy smile. For the best experience, contact the orthodontists at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.

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