For many teens and pre-teens, braces are a rite of passage. However, orthodontic treatment often can help much younger children too. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children see an orthodontist by age 7 to identify any problems with jaw growth or tooth eruption. Early treatment can shorten the amount of time a child needs braces later.
Common problems in children
Learn more about early treatment
When to Start Braces
Many children can’t wait to get braces. Their friends and classmates may have them, and many think it’s cool to customize their braces with their favorite colors. Plus, it can boost their self-confidence as they watch their smiles become straight, healthy, and beautiful.
Many children get braces between the ages of 11 and 13, after they have lost their baby teeth and the permanent teeth have come in. The orthodontist will apply braces designed to correct issues with poor alignment, bad bites, or improper tooth spacing.
Types of Braces
Braces and aligners work by placing light, constant pressure on the teeth to move them into proper alignment. Recent advancements in orthodontics mean patients have more options than ever to choose a look that matches their lifestyle. Ask your orthodontist about which one would be best for your child.
Crystal Clear Braces
Clear ceramic brackets
Nearly invisible against any tooth shade
Easy placement and debonding
Clear Combo Braces
Clear ceramic brackets on top teeth
Traditional metal brackets on bottom teeth
Aesthetic, budget-friendly choice
Traditional Metal Braces
High-grade stainless steel brackets
Most economical choice
Can customize with colored bands
Experiment with colors
Smooth and comfortable
Remove to eat, brush and floss
No food restrictions
Easy to clean
After your child’s braces or aligners come off, your orthodontist will give your child a custom-made retainer. It’s important that your child follow the orthodontist’s instructions and wear the retainer for the amount of time prescribed, typically for at least a year. Teeth that are not held in place by a retainer long enough for the new supporting bone to develop around them can drift back to their original positions. Your orthodontist will explain what your child needs to do to retain his or her new, beautiful smile so it will look great for years to come.
Early Orthodontic Evaluation Early detection of orthodontic problems in young children may make it easier to correct those problems in the long run. Waiting until all of the permanent (adult) teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult or even impossible. An early childhood orthodontic evaluation can yield excellent results... Read Article
How Thumb Sucking Affects The Bite Thumb sucking can actually block the front teeth from erupting fully and can also push the teeth forward — sometimes more on the side where the thumb rested. How far out of position the teeth end up will depend on the number of hours per day the thumb was in the child's mouth and how much pressure was applied. When the pressure exerted by the thumb in the mouth is particularly strong and occurs over a long period of time, the forces can potentially influence growth of the jaws... Read Article
The Magic of Orthodontics Proper alignment of the teeth is basic to “Smile Design.” Their position dictates how they work together and affects the way you look and smile. Only orthodontic treatment can move teeth into the right position. Simply put, when things look right, they probably are right. Learn the basics of smile analysis and design and whether the magic of orthodontics will work for you... Read Article