Parents are advised to take their children to an orthodontist for evaluation beginning at age 7, but many parents wonder:
Isn’t 7 years old too young for braces? Isn’t it a waste of money to start orthodontic treatment when my child still has baby teeth?
Here’s the answer:
7 Isn’t Too Young for Braces
The consultation at age 7 isn’t just to check how straight your child’s teeth are, and even if your child has misaligned teeth, your orthodontist may not want to start treatment immediately.
Your orthodontist is also looking for issues like:
- Severe crowding
- Protruding teeth
- Narrow jaws
- Tooth eruption problems
- Abnormal jaw growth
Issues like these are easiest to fix while the jaw is still growing, and left unchecked, many of these problems get worse with time.
That’s why the initial consultation at age 7 is so important – it’s a matter of your child’s health and comfort, and addressing these issues early often means that treatment is faster, more cost effective, and more permanent.
Also, certain orthodontic issues can create problems as your child’s adult teeth come in. It’s important to consult with your orthodontist before all of those adult teeth start erupting; there’s even a chance that problems can prevent those adult teeth from coming in at all.
Getting an early start might involve braces, and it might not.
If your orthodontist recommends treatment before your child’s adult teeth come in, there still may be a need for braces later, but treatment will likely be far shorter, easier, and more effective.
Take your child in for a consultation even if you can’t see any visible issues.
Teeth aren’t the only thing your orthodontist will examine, and their trained eye can spot problems that you don’t even know to look for.
Your consultation is helpful even if your child doesn’t need early treatment.
Meeting your orthodontist and starting that relationship is a great first step. Plus, you can get a clearer idea of what your child’s future orthodontic needs might be, and that makes it far easier to budget for the future.
Don’t be shy about asking questions, either! Your orthodontist is there to help.