Does my child need braces? When is my child ready for braces?
Often times, there is no absolute answer to whether or not your child needs orthodontic treatments (often referred as braces). While orthodontic treatment can improve dental health, for majority people, the biggest benefit is improved appearance. Most people present various degrees of malocclusion (bite problems, crooked teeth) and can benefit from orthodontic care. Both heredity and environmental factors play a role in developing malocclusions.
Children from 9 to 14 years of age are usually ready to start comprehensive orthodontic treatment (full braces). However, continuous monitoring of the child’s growth and development from very early age and timely intervention of certain types of problems can often reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment at a later age. Early orthodontic treatments or interceptive orthodontics include preventing space loss, guiding permanent teeth to erupt into desirable positions, addressing harmful habits, and correcting cross-bite (under-bite in front teeth or back teeth). These interventions facilitate optimum growth of the jaw and the dentition, and improve the stability after later corrective orthodontics.