Ongoing advances in dental technology and techniques mean you’re never too old to wear braces or aligners to straighten teeth. However, as a parent choosing orthodontic care for your child, how young is too young?
Our team at Duval Orthodontics, led by J.A. Duval, DDS, offers outstanding orthodontic care to residents in and around Albany and Warner Robins, Georgia. We are specialists in braces and aligners for children, teens, and adults.
For children, our services include early evaluation and monitoring to plan and optimize future orthodontic intervention. Read what Dr. Duval and his team say about when and why you should consider an early visit for your child.
Understanding dental development
A child’s primary teeth (baby teeth) start to emerge around six months and are gradually replaced by permanent teeth from ages 6-12.
Crooked versus straight baby teeth don’t always lead to misaligned versus permanent straight teeth. However, the eruption of permanent teeth and their alignment play a significant role in determining the need for orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic issues vary widely among children. The most common problems that necessitate braces include:
- Misaligned teeth (malocclusion)
- Gaps between teeth
The severity of these issues and their impact on oral health and overall well-being are crucial factors in determining the timing of orthodontic treatment.
The importance of an early orthodontic evaluation
An early orthodontic evaluation allows Dr. Duval to monitor your child’s dental development and plan for orthodontic treatment at the most appropriate time, which may be years away.
Thus, Dr. Duval follows guidelines from the American Association of Orthodontists, which recommends an orthodontic evaluation at about age seven. This allows him to identify any existing or potential issues your child may have and determine whether or not your child is a candidate for children’s braces or other options.
He may also suggest intervening treatments to address overcrowding and other issues that, if left untreated, could lengthen the time your child wears braces in the future.
When does a child usually start wearing braces?
The most common age range for orthodontic treatment ranges from 10-14. By this time, most permanent teeth have erupted, which may make it easier to address orthodontic issues. Additionally, the adolescent growth spurt can aid in the effectiveness of orthodontic treatment, as the bones and jaw are still developing.
However, while age is an essential consideration, it isn’t the only determining factor. For instance, orthodontic treatment involves periodic adjustments, specific dietary restrictions, and oral hygiene routines. That’s why Dr. Duval may suggest considering your child's maturity level and ability to care for braces properly before recommending treatment.
Overall, each child's orthodontic needs are unique. Some may require early intervention, some may benefit from waiting until their permanent teeth fully erupt, and others may not be ready for braces until they’re 10-12.
Schedule an evaluation with us today at Duval Orthodontics for outstanding orthodontic care that suits your child’s needs. Call our office or book an appointment online.