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Orthodontics for Children: At What Age Should Kids Get Braces?


June 5th, 2020

You can make sure that your kid has healthy teeth by taking them for a visit to the orthodontist. However, some parents may wonder, “What age do kids get braces?” 

Orthodontic treatment enables your child to have a healthy, functional bite. It will help your child’s jaws and teeth line up correctly. 

The procedure will also promote oral health. As a bonus, braces for kids also result in a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. 

Read on to learn more about when kids should get braces. 

Signs That Your Child May Need Braces 

You may have been wondering, “How old do you have to be to get braces?” A good rule of thumb is around the time your child starts to develop permanent teeth. 

However, the decision isn’t always that simple. There are other indicators that your child may need orthodontics

For example, your child may have difficulty biting or chewing food. Alternatively, they may bite their cheeks or lips when eating. 

The most apparent sign that your child may need braces is that they have crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. In other instances, a child’s bottom jaw may look too small or too large. 

There are also instances where a child loses their baby teeth too soon or too late. This circumstance may indicate that they need orthodontic treatment. Also, if their permanent teeth crowd their baby teeth as they emerge, your child may need treatment. 

If you observe any of these indicators, schedule an appointment with the orthodontist right away. You don’t need a referral.  Just give your friendly orthodontist a call to schedule a consultation.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Braces?

In general, there is no right time to bring all children in for their first orthodontic consultation. Still, there is an ideal time for a consultation for children who need one. 

The timing of the first consultation depends on what kind of problems may occur with your child’s teeth. It also depends on your child’s dental development. 

For instance, your child may need their teeth realigned. Alternatively, they may need help with jaw growth. Your orthodontist can also help you to correct your child’s bad habits, such as abnormal swallowing or thumb sucking. 

Several factors may influence the answer to the question, “What age can you get braces?” The answer to this question depends on your child’s unique circumstances. 

In extreme cases, orthodontists have worked with newborns. However, these are exceptional cases that involve a cleft palate or facial anomaly. 

Typically, you can take a child for a consultation once their first permanent teeth emerge. This growth usually happens anywhere between six to eight years old. 

As your child’s permanent teeth emerge, they may have yet to develop problems. However, early consultation is an excellent way to get in front of issues and develop a long-term plan. 

What Kind of Braces Does My Child Need? 

Braces realign teeth by applying steady pressure. Eventually, they will move your child’s teeth to where they belong. 

Most treatments involve wires, brackets, and rubber bands. During each visit, the orthodontist will slowly tighten up the wires to help realign your child’s teeth. 

Orthodontists still use metal braces. However, clear, white, and ceramic braces are also available. These colors are much less noticeable compared to metal. 

Alternatively, the orthodontist may recommend removable braces called aligners. They consist of plastic trays. 

The orthodontist will use this equipment instead of wires, brackets, and rubber bands. For instance, Invisalign is a well-known plastic tray device. 

Many people prefer clear orthodontic appliances because they’re harder to see. It’s important to note, however, that clear braces or trays won’t work for every child. Your orthodontist can consult with you on this matter. 

In some instances, an orthodontist may recommend headgear. Children only wear these devices at night. 

This device works with a horseshoe-shaped wire that attaches to your child’s rear teeth. Headgear provides a stronger pulling force compared to other methods. 

The orthodontist may also recommend the removal of one or more teeth. This procedure will create more space in your child’s mouth. 

Once the orthodontist puts braces on your child, you must make sure that they make it to their appointments. During visits, the orthodontist will monitor your child’s progress and make any needed adjustments. 

Orthodontists Do More Than Straighten Teeth 

An orthodontist can spot problems with jaw growth and permanent teeth while baby teeth are still present. Even if your child has straight teeth, that doesn’t mean they don’t need braces. 

It’s essential to have your child’s teeth examined by an orthodontist to make sure that you don’t miss any problems. For example, an orthodontist can check your child’s bite. They’ll also make sure that your child doesn’t have a problem with their bite as they grow older. 

A proactive approach can help you prevent serious mouth, jaw, and teeth problems. These kinds of issues can plague your child into their teenage and adult years. 

Braces for Kids Equal a Lifetime of Smiles 

Now you have a better interpretation of the answer to the question, “What age should you get braces?” An orthodontic consultation with Smiles by Pocock will exceed your expectations—and your child’s! 

We are dedicated to helping children, teens, and adults accomplish their orthodontic goals. Also, we will deliver a phenomenal consultative experience for both you and your child.

Reach out to Smiles by Pocock today with any questions you may have about braces for kids. You can contact your friendly North Vancouver orthodontist online or call (604) 983-2132 at your leisure.

Put your smile in our caring hands.


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North Vancouver, BC V7M 1A4

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