What Is the Earliest Age Someone Can Get Braces?- Sokoloff Orthodontics

What Is the Earliest Age Someone Can Get Braces?

September 15, 2021

The earliest age that someone can get braces is between 6 and 7 years old. When early treatment is necessary, an orthodontist can use the natural growth patterns of a young child to guide jaw growth to assist with facial structure problems. Most children do not require early treatment at a young age.

When Should a Child See an Orthodontist?

Although we have written a number of blog posts about children seeing an orthodontist we haven’t focused on the specific age group. Today we’re going to look at what Early Treatment means and why it is important for children to see an orthodontist before their seventh birthday.

The reason for this timeframe is so that, if necessary, an orthodontist can use the natural growth of a child to correct potential orthodontic problems. By age seven a child has lost most of their primary (baby) teeth. Many of the adult teeth are already in place or poised to erupt.

Using X-rays and digital imaging, an orthodontist can predict whether incoming adult teeth will have enough room. Your child is still growing and the orthodontist can use their natural growth to assist the formation of the jawbones. This allows adult teeth to drop more naturally into place and makes Phase 2 treatment easier when the child reaches the teen years.

What Is Meant by “Early Treatment?”

Early Treatment is also called Phase 1 Treatment. It is designed to allow an orthodontist to utilize a child’s natural growth in order to make orthodontic treatment less traumatizing. Early detection of potential problems is an important part of Early Treatment.

What the orthodontist looks for during an initial consultation visit are signs of possible future problems. This may include overcrowding of adult teeth, protruding front teeth, open bites, and other malocclusions that may worsen as the child grows. The goal of early treatment is to diagnose and correct problems before they become bigger problems.

Some of the problems that Early Treatment can be useful in correcting are:

  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Gap teeth
  • Misaligned bites
  • Overcrowding
  • Protruding teeth

Many young patients will still require Phase 2 Treatment in their teen years, but early correction can make secondary treatment shorter and more effective.

Benefits of Early Treatment

Aside from a straighter smile, there are many other benefits of Early Treatment.

Orthodontic intervention can ease problems caused by an obstructed airway. If your child suffers from sleep apnea, allergies, or just has difficulty breathing through the nose, an orthodontist may be able to help.

When adult teeth do not erupt properly, they can become impacted. This is visible on X-rays and early correction can prevent future problems. In fact, early treatment can reduce the risk of gum loss, tooth loss, and possible oral surgery.

Catching orthodontic problems early makes them much easier to correct. Using normal growth patterns, an orthodontist can guide bone growth to ensure a straighter smile with less crowding later. It is much easier to correct problems at this stage than waiting for growth to stop and trying to correct them after the fact.

Early treatment can also help with difficulties in speech. If your child has trouble forming words or sounds properly, the problem may be the positioning of teeth. By seeking the advice of an orthodontist these problems can be corrected early, giving your child a head-start.

The specific list of benefits of Early Treatment includes:

  • Creates facial symmetry by guiding jaw growth
  • Creates room and reserves space for adult teeth as they erupt
  • Can reduce the potential for trauma to protruding teeth
  • Reduces the need for later extractions
  • Can greatly reduce Phase 2 treatment time

Although the earliest age someone can get braces is between six and seven, most children will not need this early intervention.

Types of Treatments For Younger Children

Preventative treatment may include braces, retainers, or palatal expanders. These orthodontic appliances can be useful in the early elimination of orthodontic problems by correcting the causes. Correcting minor problems at a young age can ensure that the jaw has an adequate amount of space for erupting adult teeth.

Braces and retainers are useful in correcting alignment issues and providing space for incoming adult teeth.

A palatal expander guides the growth of the palate to create additional space for larger adult teeth. A gap-toothed smile with baby teeth is fairly normal. It is a good sign that the jaw will be adequate to house adult teeth.

Orthodontic Monitoring Programs

Because not every child who sees an orthodontist will need early treatment, many doctors maintain monitoring programs. Orthodontic monitoring allows the doctor to perform periodic checkups on children and watch their growth.

Catching orthodontic problems early is instrumental. Earlier detection and treatment is easier on the child and promotes healthy oral habits that will last them a lifetime. Enrolling your child in an orthodontic monitoring program will give you peace of mind.

Phase 2 Treatment

Although the earliest age someone can get braces is six or seven, many children won’t need braces until their teen years. This treatment period is referred to as Phase 2 Treatment even if your child did not require early intervention.

Phase 2 Treatment normally happens when a child is between 10 and 13 years old.

Available options include Invisalign Teen®, traditional metal braces, or clear ceramic braces. Each option will be explained fully before you will need to make any decisions.

For teens and adults with minor malocclusions, the MTM® No•Trace System might also be an option. This totally invisible method works using brackets mounted on the backs of teeth. This method is also known as lingual braces.

Start Your Children Out with a Great Smile

Dr. Michael Sokoloff wants parents to understand that even though the earliest age someone can get braces is six or seven, not all children will require intervention at this young age. The best way to determine whether your child needs Phase 1 Treatment is to have them seen by a pediatric orthodontist.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment at any age, the entire staff at Michael Sokoloff Orthodontics is eager to assist you. You can arrange for an introductory appointment using our online Appointment Request form.

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    Michael Sokoloff Orthodontics

    Michael Sokoloff, DDS, LLC

    www.DocSokOrtho.com

    20 Old Mamaroneck Rd, Suite C
    White Plains, New York 10605

    Email: securemail@docsokortho.com
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