Did you know that more than 4 million people in the United States alone wear braces to straighten their teeth? The majority of this number consists of children since many children often end up with crowded or otherwise misaligned teeth for a variety of reasons. If you have children with misaligned teeth, you might be wondering when should your kids get braces.
After all, you don’t want to waste money by getting braces for kids too early, but you don’t want to get braces too late either. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the subject. First, let’s take a look at why a child needs braces in the first place.
Why Would a Child Need Braces
Many people believe that braces are only needed to improve the aesthetic of a person’s smile. However, braces can do much more than that. When teeth are crowded or crooked, a variety of dental problems can occur.
This is because misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean than straight teeth. For example, with straight teeth, you should have no problem brushing and flossing. When your teeth are crooked, you might not have enough space to use floss between your teeth, and the bristles of a toothbrush may not be able to reach certain surfaces of your teeth.
When this happens, food particles and bacteria can start to build up between your teeth. Over time, this will create tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental conditions. But misaligned teeth can also cause problems beyond your oral health.
Children who have misaligned teeth may have trouble chewing food and speaking. Misaligned teeth may also cause more serious problems with jaw alignment. Jaw misalignment can cause headaches and pain in the jaw.
The misalignment of teeth in children can happen for a variety of reasons. Often, it can be the result of the child using a pacifier too often or for too long. The sucking action on the pacifier can eventually turn the front teeth outward.
Teeth grinding or clenching may also cause a child’s teeth to shift. Or, your child may have been born with a misaligned jaw that, in turn, caused misaligned teeth.
Whatever the case, it is important to get your child’s misaligned teeth fixed to avoid more serious dental complications later on in your child’s life. This is especially true since avoiding braces can have serious consequences for your child’s permanent teeth.
But what exactly is the perfect age to get braces?
At What Point Should Your Kids Get Braces
The first thing you should know is that there is no concrete age at which your child needs to get braces. Some children might need to get braces at a younger age because they might have trouble breathing, chewing, and speaking with their crooked teeth. On the other hand, some children may have mildly misaligned teeth and they might not need braces until later in life.
If you want your child to get braces early on, then 7 years old is an appropriate age. However, this age is often too young for most children to benefit from braces. Instead, most children end up getting braces between the ages of 9 and 13.
Even if you don’t get your child braces at the age of 7, professionals recommend that you should have your child visit an orthodontist by this age anyway. By doing this, the orthodontist will be able to examine your child’s teeth and see if it might be a good idea for your child to get braces in the near future. The orthodontist may even be able to identify certain bad dental habits that your child might have such as teeth clenching or not flossing.
If your child needs braces, you should avoid waiting until your child is older than 14 years of age. While plenty of teens and adults get braces, it might take longer for the braces to straighten your child’s teeth as he or she gets older.
The teeth of children as still actively shifting with age and it is much easier for braces to do their work when a child is still young. This is especially true if your child has teeth that are still erupting and may get in the way of existing teeth.
Getting Braces for Your Child
Getting braces for your child is not as big of a deal as you might expect. Your orthodontist will do all the work when it comes to identifying any problems with your child’s teeth alignment. The orthodontist will also be able to determine what braces might be best for your child and advise what your child should do to improve his or her oral health.
Depending on what kind of braces you get, the cost of braces will range between $3,000 and $7,000. The amount of time your child will need to wear the braces will also depend on the type of braces you get. This is because some braces can straighten teeth faster than others, although they may be more expensive.
The time required will also depend on how crooked your child’s teeth are. If they are not very crooked, your child may not need to wear braces for very long. On average, children need to wear braces between 18 and 30 months before their teeth are straight enough to have the braces removed.
After the braces, your child will need to wear a retainer. A retainer will keep your child’s teeth from becoming crooked again.
Braces for Kids
If you were wondering what age should kids get braces, you now know the answer. You also know how important it is for a child to get braces if their teeth are misaligned.
If you would like to get your child braces, contact us here to learn more.