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There are more than four million people across the country who have some form of braces to help the alignment of their teeth. Braces have such a huge impact on lives, it’s no surprise that this number is so high and still growing 

The benefits of braces for kids are widely known and accepted, keeping them on most parent’s radars. But the difficult part comes in knowing when to get your kid into the orthodontist that will be more helpful. You don’t want to take them in too early but also don’t want to wait too long that problems are more severe. 

While every child is unique and will have different needs, we’ve created a guide to some of the more common indicators that it might be time to set up that appointment! 

Crowding of Baby Teeth

It’s important to remember that not every person will need braces in their life. But most people will need some orthodontic intervention and the first sign that you might see in your child is crowded baby teeth. 

Adult teeth don’t grow in exactly the way that baby teeth do because they are bigger. So if there is not enough room as it is with the baby teeth, chances are very high that that problem will only get worse once adult teeth are added to the mix. 

When you see your child has crowding in their smile, it’s a good time to go talk to an orthodontist. It might not be time to get braces just yet, but they will help you know when it is. 

Jaw or Bite Issues 

We often think of braces as a way to cure crowded, misaligned teeth and to have a better smile. But in reality, traditional braces are mostly used to make sure all parts of the mouth can work correctly. They can actually alleviate a lot of problems kids face. 

One of the biggest problems that orthodontics addresses have to do with bite. When the jaw and teeth aren’t lined up right, it can be difficult to chew properly, it’s easier to grind the teeth together, and there’s a much higher chance of pain. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, ask about braces at their next dental exam. 

Difficult Adult Teeth 

In the past, metal braces for kids weren’t as common of a thing. Most parents waited until their kids were much older and all of the adult teeth were in place before they began any interventions. 

Now, it’s much more common to see a child with only a few adult teeth and braces. 

Once those teeth start to come in, it’s easy for a trained professional to be able to assess the situation and start to solve problems before they’re even full-blown. When a child begins to get their adult teeth and the teeth aren’t coming in straight, it’s definitely time to look into orthodontic options. 

We all know how adult teeth are permanent, so getting them set up for success as soon as possible will make a big difference overall. 

Reach Average Age

Not all dental issues are overly obvious to every parent, so it can be helpful to take your child in for an orthodontic consultation once they reach a certain age regardless. 

In today’s dental world, the best age for braces begins at seven. At that age, the child has lost a few of their baby teeth and have a few adult teeth. Their jaws have grown enough to see how they’re aligned or not. But nothing has become super solidified because the child is still growing at such a rapid rate. 

This makes it the perfect time to start these kinds of interventions. When a child receives dental care at a younger age, they’ll need much less care later on. Their overall treatment is quicker and easier this way. 

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Braces are an important part of a child’s overall health, they can create a foundation for good oral health. But when not taken care of properly, there can also be negative consequences as well. 

It’s important to make sure you and your child have a good, solid oral hygiene routine in place before you introduce any kind of braces to the mix. They should be able to fully clean their teeth (or have a routine with your help) every night in order to avoid any hidden cavities or decay while having the braces. 

They should also be responsible enough to take care of their braces and follow the rules to keep them working properly. 

Dentist Recommendation 

One of the best things you can do for your child and their overall health and well-being is regularly take them to the dentist. This is where you will get professional advice about the best way to care for their teeth and also get proper, deep cleanings. 

These types of regular check-ups keep things running smooth and also can prevent a lot of problems from popping up and getting out of control.

This is especially true in regards to orthodontic needs. Your child’s dentist will be able to recommend the right time to get started with these treatments that will be most beneficial to your child. They have the training and education as well as personal knowledge of your child’s mouth, jaw, and teeth which is the winning combination. 

When to Get Braces for Kids

Getting braces for kids is an exciting time that’s almost a rite of passage. The transformation of a smile can be a great boost to confidence and also help have better oral health in the long run.

But it can also be a stressful time for parents, especially when they aren’t sure what the best course of treatment or even what the options are for their child. That’s why working with a great doctor is so crucial and will make the biggest difference in the overall outcome. 

If you’re wondering if your child is ready to get braces and what your choices may be, contact us today to set up a virtual consultation!