How to Know When Your Child Needs Braces

Childrens Orthondontist Carmel InFor many children, there will come an age where the idea of braces becomes more than a possibility. That age can vary but on average, most enter Phase 1 orthodontic treatment between 6 and 10 years old.

Because braces are a commitment, our Carmel, IN, orthodontists can evaluate your child and let you know if they are necessary for their smile.

Here are the indicators of impending orthodontic treatment and what you can expect at your child’s first visit to the orthodontist.

Signs It’s Time to Consider Orthodontics

Beyond what you can visibly see, it’s hard to know the scope of your child’s dental issues. Most often, it is a family dentist who catches and takes note of how the teeth and jaws are growing.

If an abnormality is found during a routine check-up, such as a misaligned bite, your child’s dentist will discuss the finding with you and determine next steps, such as scheduling an initial orthodontic consultation.

Learn MoreCommon Bite Problems Fixable With Orthodontics

There are also several behaviors you can pick up on while at home that can indicate a need for orthodontic treatment. Common examples most parents notice include prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use.

Braces may also be beneficial if your child has:

  • Lost baby teeth prematurely or later than what’s expected for their age
  • Crowded, crooked, or misplaced teeth
  • A tendency to breathe through their mouth more than the nose
  • Problems with biting the inside of their cheeks or top of the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing, biting, or speaking
  • Displayed excessive grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • A crossbite, underbite, overbite, or open bite (where the top and bottom teeth don’t meet)

What Age Should Children Be Evaluated for Braces?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children undergo an orthodontic evaluation around the time they turn 7 years old. At this age, your child will have a mixture of baby and permanent teeth so our orthodontists can see how they are all coming in and if any problems are forming.

Now, if your child is older than 7 and has not yet been evaluated, it’s perfectly normal. While that age is a starting point for early orthodontic intervention, children can still go in for a check-up if they are 8 or above. However, if more severe dental problems exist, it is best to have our orthodontists take a closer look sooner than later.

Arising issues regarding your child’s oral health should be taken seriously and not ignored in hopes they’ll resolve on their own. Treatable problems are always better corrected while your child is younger so keep this in mind when considering whether to seek out orthodontists like ours.

What You and Your Child Can Expect

Your child’s first orthodontic appointment is all about observation and general discussion. Typically, this visit should take between 1-2 hours though this timeframe can vary per patient. The main objective centers around examining your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaws.

During the appointment, you can expect that X-rays will be taken of your child’s mouth to give our orthodontists an idea of the issues at hand and how they can be remedied. Your child will also be asked to bite down so we can see how the top and bottom teeth come together.

If orthodontic treatment is needed, you’ll be briefed on every detail so both you and your child know what to expect. At WestClay Orthodontics, we offer several treatment options aside from metal braces like clear ceramic braces, Invisalign® clear aligners, and InBrace®.

We’ll also go over the following to guarantee everyone is on the same page:

  • What the key issue is and why it’s important to fix
  • Whether tooth extraction or another type of oral surgery is needed
  • The length of treatment
  • How much treatment will cost and available payment options

In addition to what we do inside our Carmel, IN, orthodontics office, both Dr. Davila and Dr. Hani will work with your child’s dentist throughout their treatment to ensure their teeth are kept clean and healthy as corrections are made.

We Can Help Create a Plan for Your Child’s Smile

Every child is different and has unique dental needs. Our orthodontists serving Carmel, IN and Greater Indianapolis can closely examine your child’s teeth and jaws to determine when or if braces are needed. Call WestClay Orthodontics at (317) 593-1400 to request an appointment for your child.

This blog post has been updated.

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