Why Kids Need Braces?
Kids can need braces for any number of reasons, including crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth, or a “bad bite” (known as malocclusion). Malocclusion is a discrepancy in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws. When the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, it’s called an overbite. When the lower jaw is bigger, it’s called an underbite.
Sometimes tooth and jaw problems can be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. But often they’re inherited, so if you or someone in your family needed braces, it’s likely that your kids will, too.
Often, your child’s dentist will be the first to notice problems during a regular visit and recommend that you see an orthodontist (a dentist who specializes in correcting jaw and/or teeth alignment problems). The orthodontist can determine whether your child does indeed need braces and which types of devices would be best.
At what age do children start to get braces?
Once a child starts to lose their baby teeth and the adult teeth appear to be growing in, it is time to get a consultation from your local orthodontist. It is never too early for a consult as you can always go back each year to see the progress of how the adult teeth are growing in. In some cases children as young as 7 years old are advised to get a consult.
While children usually don’t get braces until 11 to 15 years old, there are cases where younger children get them on early to take advantage of a soft jaw where anoverbite or under bite is present.
Once the adult teeth grow in, an orthodontist can begin the treatment or at least advise whether treatment is needed. If there is still some growth needed, the doctor will usually ask to come back in one year to be more sure if the child will need braces and what route to take. When the jaw is soft and the teeth are much easier to move, a young child can see results fast.
Bottom line, when those adult teeth start to grow in, get the consultation from your local orthodontist whether they look straight or not. Getting a professional opinion from an orthodontist usually does not cost much and your child will thank you in years to come. If you need to find an orthodontist, please use our orthodontist directory for a doctor near you.
When we move teeth orthodontically, what happens is that a small pressure exerted over a long period of time stimulates the cells in the bone to resorb in the direction of tooth movement. Once a space is made, the tooth is pushed into the space. Bone fills in behind where the tooth once was located. The process repeats itself again till the tooth is in the final desired position. This process can take place at any age. Yes, you can get braces at 40 years of age! The only caveat is that it usually is easier when the patient is younger. Isn’t most everything? There are however, certain things that can only be done in a growing patient (a preteen or teenager). Once growth ceases, the boney growth of the face halts as well. When a child is growing, certain forces can be applied to guide the growth. That’s usually one of the things a headgear does.
Starting the process early doesn’t mean a child will get braces right away. It just means the orthodontist will be able to determine which problems exist and assess the best time to start treatment.
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Drs. Griffiths and Truman
4240 E. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Drs. Griffiths and Simister
8710 W. Charleston Blvd. Suite 150
Las Vegas, NV 89117