Orthodontics for Children
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child receive their first orthodontic evaluation by seven years old.
- Prevent or stop teeth from being impacted.
- Maintain space for growing teeth.
- Prevent gum issues from improperly erupting teeth.
All Children Should Get an Orthodontic Check-Up By the Age of 7
To have a smile that's long-lasting and healthy, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned – a healthy bite, in other words. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven.
By then, your child's teeth have developed enough to where subtle problems can be spotted with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. This check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine and braces for kids aren't necessary.
Or, Dr. Kaplan may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring your child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for your child. In other cases, Dr. Kaplan might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
What is Early Treatment?
Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
In some cases, Dr. Kaplan will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment
While the age that kids get braces may vary, orthodontics for children treatments most often begin between the ages of 9 and 14, and some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are treated early.
If it appears that your child needs treatment, Dr. Kaplan can advise you as to the ideal time to begin.
This gives Dr. Kaplan the best chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance and self-esteem in your child
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
Signs the Bite's Not Right
It's not always easy to tell when your child may need braces or has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite. Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Breathing through the mouth
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth