When Should My Child Start Orthodontic Treatment?

February 17, 2023
Three kids holding up their toothbrushes wondering if they should start orthodontic treatment.

Your kid’s growing up, but at some point, you’ll inevitably be concerned for their oral health., and may wonder when they should start Orthodontic treatment.

Maybe you’ve noticed a few young teeth not sitting correctly, or wonder how to set them up for long-term dental health.

After all, wanting your children to be healthy is normal for any parent!

Regular visits to your dentist should be part of any family healthcare plan. But what is the best age to start orthodontic treatment?

To find out, we’ll examine some possible reasons you might need to bring your child to an orthodontist.

Does age matter?

People of all ages wear traditional and clear braces, so it’s a fair enough question.

However, age is extremely important for orthodontic treatment.

Although acceptable, getting braces as an adult is certainly not ideal. Early orthodontic treatment is best for many reasons.

There’s no exact age where one should start; however, children should get a professional orthodontic evaluation somewhere between 7 – 9 years old.

A qualified Havens orthodontist can identify and intercept any potential issues a child may have, even while they still have their baby teeth. Early treatment, AKA interceptive care, gives your child the best chance at lifelong oral health.

If a child needs braces, the best age to start orthodontic treatment will depend on the issue causing the problem.

If you are worried about your child or have any questions, call or text our office, and we will talk you through the process.

The best age to start braces

The most common age for starting orthodontic treatment with braces is typically between 11 and 14 when a child has lost most of their baby teeth.

Some orthodontists may recommend using dental appliances during a child’s younger years, followed by a shorter second phase of treatment with braces once adult teeth have fully grown.

Your child’s first orthodontic evaluation

Children should establish regular care with a general dentist as early as possible. As they gradually become more comfortable with visiting the dentist, they will foster a positive connection that will benefit them throughout their life. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. More extensive treatment later in life can be avoided through early evaluation, identification, and treatment of orthodontic problems. Not every child needs early orthodontic treatment, but an orthodontic evaluation is the best way to identify potential issues as mouths and teeth grow.

Types of early orthodontic treatment

Early orthodontic treatment includes

  • fixed or removable appliances
  • palate expanders
  • space maintainers

This treatment can be divided into Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Phase 1

In some cases, kids still have most of their baby teeth when Phase 1 begins. Interceptive care in Phase 1 can address a lot of common orthodontic issues, including:

  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Crossbite
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • An abnormal number of teeth

Phase 2

Phase 2 begins once your child has all their permanent teeth. Also called full orthodontic treatment, this phase may include traditional orthodontic braces or clear aligners. Remember that it’s never too late to benefit from orthodontics, even if your child didn’t get a complete orthodontic evaluation before they got all their permanent teeth. Give your child a healthy start to a beautiful smile with early orthodontic care, and call us today.

Havens Orthodontics proudly serves the areas of Canton, Imlay City, Washington, Clarkston, St. Clair Shores, and Romeo, MI.