If you are a parent wondering about children's braces you probably have a lot of questions, including if your child is ready to wear braces. The best way to get those questions answered is to schedule a consultation with our office. In the meantime, here are some things to consider.
Is my child ready for braces?
Whether or not a child needs braces is not always the primary question. We also have to ask if the child is ready to wear them. There are two ways to answer this question. The first involves whether or not they are ready physically. For a child to wear braces they need to have the majority of their adult teeth in place. If they have too many baby teeth, we cannot secure braces to the teeth because these baby teeth still need to fall out.
Typically, by the time a child is 10 to 12 years of age they are physically ready for braces. If a child visits our office but is not yet ready to have a full set of braces, we may still recommend taking orthodontic steps like using spacers to create room between teeth or using an expander to make additional room in the palate.
The second thing to consider is if they are ready emotionally and mentally. Wearing braces is a commitment. It is a commitment to stay away from foods that could damage the brackets or break the wires and it is a commitment to brush and floss teeth carefully every day to prevent stains and decay. Only a parent can decide if their child is ready for that level of responsibility. It completely depends on their personality. A few things parents can consider are:
- Does the child brush their teeth on their own?
- Is it easy to tell them to avoid snacking and eating sweet treats, or is it a struggle?
- Are they responsible in other areas like practicing their sports or musical instrument?
- Do they remember to turn in their homework or do they constantly need to be reminded?
- Do they help around the house, take care of a pet or help with a younger sibling?
Chances are that if a child is exhibiting responsibility in other areas of their life they will also be responsible when it comes to their own oral health and orthodontic care.
Starting treatment as soon as possible is often the best option
We recommend that parents have their children come in for children's braces as soon as they are physically ready. This is typically the best course of action because a child's jaw continues to harden the older they get. When they are young, we are able to correct a lot of issues with their bite without needing to rely on invasive methods like oral surgery.
However, as they get older and the jaw begins to harden, that window of opportunity begins to close and the need for surgery becomes more likely. If a child gets braces and begins using orthodontics at an early age, we have a lot more options and how to move and align their bite. This is ultimately in their benefit.
Find out if your child is ready for children's braces
Our recommendations are going to be based on what we see during an examination and conversations we have with the parents. To find out if your child is ready to begin an orthodontic treatment give us a call. We will answer any questions that you have and make a recommendation after examining them and taking X-rays.
Request an appointment in our Stockton dentist office here: https://www.brooksideorthodontics.com.
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