Early Orthodontics With Braces For Kids

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting an orthodontist around age seven.

By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if their child may need orthodontic treatment. Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • A hard time chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

Types Of Braces For Kids

Although we have different types of braces available at our offices, the process for getting braces is generally the same for all. First, a special orthodontic glue made of a composite resin is used to bond the brackets to your teeth. Once the brackets are in place, thin metal wires thread them together. This allows gradual pressure to be applied by tightening the wires with a special key. Adjustments may be made periodically to adjust the tension on the wire and ensure your child’s smile is continually progressing toward the goal. However, thanks to the self-ligation technology used for our braces, you and your child can benefit from fewer of these adjustment appointments and overall shorter appointment times.

Metal Braces

Due to their proven effectiveness, metal braces remain the most popular option for orthodontic treatment. However, thanks to the self-ligation technology used in our offices, the brackets are much lighter and more comfortable while offering more efficient movement. Rather than traditional stainless steel, our rhodium-coated brackets are highly aesthetic due to their low reflective matte finish.

Clear Ceramic Braces

Offering the same great results as metal brackets, clear braces are made from a ceramic material that is designed to blend in with your natural smile. These braces are perfect for patients looking to maintain a more natural and discreet appearance during treatment. While they are visually less prominent, they do require slightly more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces tend to more easily show food particles and buildup.