When your child has lost their primary teeth and permanent teeth are growing in, there are many indicators of a malocclusion that might call for dental braces to correct. Lack of jaw space and overcrowding teeth may result in an overbite or cross bite, resulting in a malocclusion.
Visiting an orthodontist at around age seven may offer the best indicators of what you may anticipate when the rest of the permanent teeth finally start to erupt.
At the age of around seven, children are on the cusp of losing those baby teeth and permanent teeth are taking over. Although all baby teeth may not be gone, at this age an orthodontist can often gauge the need for further care.
Once the need for dental braces has been determined, there are a couple of factors that will come into play as to when it is best to commence treatment:
- Although there is not a set age to get started, normally treatment can begin when the child has lost most of the baby teeth. This can be anywhere between age eight to ten or eleven.
- Although there may be some initial discomfort, getting started as early as possible especially to correct a severe malocclusion is best. An early start allows for correction while teeth and bones in gum tissue are still forming and growing. The older the patient, the longer it takes to shift teeth to their correct position.
- The severity of the malocclusion may also dictate when to get started, and the type of orthodontics that are needed. If only moderate corrections are needed, waiting may be advised until more permanent teeth have come in.
Parents and caregivers can provide clues for the dentist about needed treatment and when to get started. Does the patient suck their thumb or fingers? Is there any difficulty in breathing or swallowing? Does the child breathe with her mouth open most of the time? Although the skilled orthodontist will often recognize these issues during a consultation, affirmation from the parent and willingness to pursue correction is important.
Although a young child may not appreciate the reward of early intervention, the results will speak for themselves. Straight teeth will provide the basis for excellent oral health, while the aesthetic value will lead to a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
Contact our experienced orthodontic team by calling 210-921-9191 to schedule an appointment today.