What is the Right Age for a Child to Get Braces?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is important throughout every stage of life, but never more so than when a child is losing their milk teeth and gaining their adult teeth. Adult teeth stay with us for life, so teaching our children to take care of them and follow a good oral hygiene routine will stand them in good stead for the future and help avoid gum disease and tooth decay.
When these adult teeth arrive, it can be concerning if there are irregularities, they may erupt at skewed angles, some appearing to grow above others, and some can be twisted as they compete for space. In most cases these issues resolve themselves, however, around one-third of children in the UK experience problems that require orthodontic attention, and, in many cases, these issues are inherited.
How do I Know if my Child Needs Braces?
At around 3 years old, most children will have gained all their baby teeth, around 5 to 6 years old, children will start to lose these teeth and gain adult teeth, and by the age of 12 to 14, most children will have all their permanent teeth, apart from wisdom teeth.
This is just a guide, every child is different and there is no one size fits all when it comes to your child's dental journey, this also applies to orthodontic treatment. Whether your child needs braces is dependent solely on them and their personal circumstances and a good orthodontist will take all of these circumstances into consideration.
Some signs that may point to your child needing braces are:
- Protruding teeth.
- Eating difficulties.
- A misaligned or out-of-proportion jaw.
- Very crowded front teeth.
- Speech problems.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth – before age 5 or after age 14.
- Over or underbite.
- Clenching teeth or grinding.
- Mouth-breathing and/ or snoring.
What is the Right Age for my Child to get Braces?
In short, there is no definitive age that is best for anyone to get braces. Treatment often starts around the age of 10 to 14, once permanent teeth have emerged but in serious cases, children can start treatment as early as 7 or 8. Every case is different and the best way to determine when to start orthodontic treatment is to have a discussion with your dentist or to book a consultation with an orthodontist.
Other factors come into play when deciding on the right time for a child to get braces, including the type of orthodontic problem they have and the stage of dental development. Some patients may only require tooth movement while others might need help guiding the growth of their jaws.
There is no age limit for braces, but you will find a lot of orthodontists will suggest there is a better age to get treatment, and this is purely down to addressing issues before they worsen.
How can Orthodontic Treatment Help?
Children's orthodontists can straighten crooked teeth, fix an overcrowded mouth, close gaps in teeth, and fix protruding teeth. Straight teeth are ultimately easier to keep clean, meaning that tooth and gum disease are less likely to occur. This is one of the jobs braces do, alongside creating a healthy bite function and addressing teeth alignment and jaw positioning issues, enabling your child to eat and speak properly. Other ways braces can help are by:
- Lessing impaction (teeth getting stuck in the gums).
- Guiding the growth of the jawbone.
- Guiding teeth in the correct position as they emerge.
- Ensuring adequate space for emerging teeth.
- Fixing malocclusion (upper and lower teeth don’t bite together properly).
Northenden House Orthodontics, Orthodontist in Manchester: Assessment for Children
Getting orthodontic treatment for your child can be very effective in ensuring issues are addressed and fixed early, from a time standpoint but also from a confidence standpoint. At Northenden House Orthodontics, we provide a wide choice of modern treatment options for your child, with the dental health and well-being of your child the focus of any treatment plan.
We are a dedicated and passionate orthodontist in Manchester and our team of expert orthodontists will make it their mission to correct all manner of tooth position and bite discrepancies, delivering a beautifully, straight smile.
If you are unsure whether treatment is right for your child, contact us today to book an initial consultation at our private orthodontist in Manchester, Northenden House Orthodontics.
- Mohammad Malik