It seems that there is an increasing number of younger children wearing braces these days. Not that long ago, it was common to see children in their pubescent years visiting the orthodontist for the first time; however, that common age has dropped drastically. Many mothers are asking, what is the best age for my child to see an orthodontist? Many of these moms may be shocked at the answer.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the best age to bring your child in to see an orthodontist is seven. The inquisitive mind may want to gain a more lucid perspicacity of what can possibly be accomplished at such a young age. It is important to understand that not every orthodontic issue will be treatable at the age of seven; however, bringing your child in to visit the orthodontist at this age will allow the orthodontist to effectively identify any existing or potential problems as early as possible. This will allow for the proper planning and strategies as far as preventative and corrective measures are concerned. By age seven, most orthodontic-related problems can, at least, be identified.
Deviation from Normal Patterns
Something as simple as disorder in the manner in which baby teeth fall out could be indicative of problematic issues that will need to be addressed at some point. Baby teeth normally fall out in a specific order, with their first eight primary teeth falling out between the ages of six to eight. It is also common for the child’s permanent molars to emerge during this same period. By age seven, a child should have at least four permanent incisors and four permanent molars. Deviation from the normality or this order could indicate developmental issues that may require specific attention
Spacing and Crowding
By the age of seven it will be possible for an orthodontist to determine if the child has crowding and spacing issues. Spacing issues normally refer to situations in which a tooth is lost prematurely or one does not develop properly — leaving a permanent space between teeth. These types of spaces can be problematic and will have to be addressed by the orthodontist.
Crowding general refers to a situation in which the teeth are bunched too close together. This condition may require the expansion of the arches or the removal of certain teeth.
Different Types of Braces
Obviously, one of the most commonly used tools by orthodontists is braces. Braces have the capacity to handle spacing problems, crowding and more. Not too long ago, the options, as far as braces are concerned, were quite limited; however, that has changed significantly.
Here are some of the options that are available:
Traditional braces: These are the braces that are seen most often. They are metal, and they are also highly visible. The brackets on the modern version of these braces is less conspicuous that its predecessor. Technology has also contributed to enhancing the efficacy of these braces. There are now heat-activated arch wires that have the capacity to use the subject’s body heat to promote an expedited movement process.
- Pros: The least expensive style of all of the braces on the market
- Cons: Highly conspicuous
Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces are almost identical in design to medical braces, but they differ in the fact they are available in tooth color or clear in order to make them more inconspicuous.
- Pros: Not as noticeable as metal braces. Additionally, they have the capacity to move teeth quicker than traditional braces
- Cons: More expensive that traditional braces and there is a greater proclivity toward staining
Lingual Braces: The design of lingual braces are the same as traditional braces. What makes this type of process different is the placement. Instead of the traditional outside placement, they are placed on the inside of the teeth.
- Pros: Completely invisible from an outside view
- Cons: More expensive than traditional braces, and they are more difficult to clean and maintain
Invisalign: Invisalign uses a process that includes a series of 18 to 30 custom-designed clear plastic aligners that resemble mouth guards. These aligners are removable and they are replaced every couple of weeks.
- Pros: Nearly invisible, and there are no limits to what the subject can eat or drink
- Cons: Not effective for serious orthodontic issues, and they are only available for teens and adults.
When visiting Manhattan Beach Orthodontics, you will be able to consult with a specialist that will be able to advise you on what the best options are as far as braces are concerned. Your child’s specific issues may limit the options that are available.
According to Dr. Greg Jorgenson, it is best to begin screening all young patients at no later than age seven. Another common issue that can be detected and addressed at this age is vertical biting problems. A vertical biting issue is when the bites are too deep, where the top teeth cover the bottom teeth completely. One of the common causes for vertical biting problems is lower jaw that is too small.
It is also possible to discover overbite problems, which are generally indicative of a tongue or finger problem. This is something that the orthodontist can begin addressing immediately through helping to identify the destructive habit. The sooner that the destructive habit can be eliminated, the less structural issues will have to be addressed later.
Procrastination in getting your child to their first orthodontist visit can lead to the exacerbation of existing issues. Additionally, it can cause you to miss an opportunity to prevent potential issues. When your child turns seven, call Manhattan Beach Orthodontics to schedule the initial examination and consultation. The professionals a Manhattan Beach Orthodontics will provide you with the assurance that will allow you to have the confidence that your child is in good hands.
If you live in Manhattan Beach, CA, you’re in luck.
Beach Braces Orthodontics, located in Manhattan Beach, specializes in Orthodontics for adults and children and would be happy to consult with you regarding lingual braces or any of the many other options available.
Beach Braces, 1730 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
TEL: 310-379-0006 Fax: (310) 379-7051.
What is the Best Age for My Child to See an Orthodontist?