Parents often ask us when their child should start their braces journey. Of course, at Texas Tiny Teeth, every patient is unique and their treatment plan will be too. But, there are general rules for child and youth orthodontics – so if you’re curious about getting braces for your child, read on!

Recommended Orthodontic Treatment for Kids

It’s a common misconception that only pre-teens and teenagers should see the orthodontist. But orthodontic treatment for kids can actually start as early as 7 or 8 years of age, or as soon as the primary or baby teeth have fallen out and the permanent or adult teeth have grown in. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends an orthodontic check-up for children no later than age 7. While they may not be fitted for braces until they are older, this initial evaluation can be beneficial for your child’s oral health.

Here are a few reasons why your child can benefit from an early orthodontic check-up:

• A good orthodontist can spot problems with your child’s teeth even when they look straight.
• An early check-up will allow your dentist to identify any subtle issues with jaw growth or emerging teeth so you have time to take the appropriate steps to correct any issues they may find.
• Early detection of any problems can help prevent more serious issues in your child’s teeth. Addressing dental problems early can also reduce the complexity and length of treatment needed.

How can I tell if my child needs braces?

You can tell fairly easily if your child will need braces – if they experience pain when chewing, if permanent teeth are coming in crooked, or if they have overcrowding that causes discomfort in the mouth. But, the best way to discover if your child needs braces is to simply bring them to the orthodontist for an early check-up. At this initial check-up, the orthodontist will give you a roadmap for treatment that’s tailored specifically to your child and their oral needs. The ortho team will also be able to help your child improve their oral health habits and get them ready to care for their braces if they need them.

It’s good to bring your child into the orthodontist during the final stages of receiving their permanent teeth because these check-ups can reveal potential oral issues and allow the dentist to monitor tooth growth. Early visits to the orthodontists will give your child the benefit of a head start on early treatment options that could save them (and you) time and money in the future. There is no set age for a first-time orthodontic visit and a good orthodontist can even spot subtle problems with oral health before all the permanent teeth even come in!

Of course, every child’s smile is different. Our team of orthodontic professionals are happy to meet with you, and your child, to create a personalized plan. Our goal is to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy, so we can keep them (and you) smiling.

We’re here to make your kids love the dentist. Book your appointment today!