Orthodontics for Children and Adolescents
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen by the orthodontist at age seven. However, there is an ideal time to start with each child who is suffering from an orthodontic problem. This time is not necessarily based on age, but rather on growth and stage of development. We try to avoid extracting permanent teeth unless absolutely necessary to gain enough room to straighten the teeth. Many children do not need to start braces until most or all of their permanent teeth come in — between 11 and 13 years old – but the sooner you can bring them in, the sooner we can find the optimal age to begin treatment for your child.
Some children with certain malocclusions will require a first stage of orthodontic treatment for about a year at an earlier age — 7 to 9 years old — and then a second stage after all their permanent teeth come in. A small percentage of children with severe malocclusions require starting early treatment and leaving the braces on until all the permanent teeth come in.
Whatever age your child begins treatment at, we will ensure a comfortable and convenient experience!
Advantages of Early Treatment
- Moves the front teeth back so they will be less susceptible to injury.
- Improves the relationship of upper and lower jaws, allowing more normal future development.
- Uses maximum advantage of growth for successful treatment.
- Improves facial appearance and self-esteem.
- Takes advantages of the good cooperation of patients at this age.
- May reduce or even avoid the need for further treatment when patients are older.