Believe it or not, the right time to make the first orthodontist appointment is when your child still has baby teeth! The American Academy of Orthodontics recommends that kids get a checkup by age 7 – and earlier if your dentist suspects a problem.
By 7, your child has enough adult teeth to tell if the mouth and jaw are developing normally. If not, the orthodontist can advise which treatment will work best in your child’s case.
In order to get braces, kids need most of their permanent teeth. So treatment with braces usually starts between the ages of 8 and 14. For younger kids, orthodontists may recommend what’s called an “interceptive” approach. It’s a two-step plan where other “appliances” are used first to help guide the growth of face and jaw bones.
Types of dental appliances:
The second phase of treatment with braces usually begins once a child has mostly adult teeth. Some orthodontists believe that kids who have worn dental appliances need braces for a shorter time.
Lots of things can cause your child to need treatment early. Here are some signs to look for:
If your child is experiencing any of these issues, talk to your dentist. He or she can likely recommend a good orthodontist. Or use our online Find a Dentist tool to search for in-network orthodontists near you.
Learn about different orthodontic treatments