Many orthodontists report that they prefer to first see children for the first time at around 7 years of age. This is before their last baby teeth fall out and before their growth spurt. It is at this age that an orthodontist can start to plan for orthodontic treatment. This includes making more space for teeth as they come through, or to implement measures to influence jaw growth. When a child should start orthodontic treatment will depend on how early the problems were detected and how developed their teeth are.
Those children who do not need appliances to influence the growth of their jaw, or to make more space will generally commence treatment (if needed) around 11 – 13 years of age. This will depend on the development of their teeth. Where intervention is needed earlier it is to ensure the best result possible; and can sometimes reduce the need for later tooth extractions or surgery.
When Should Children Get Braces?
While the ideal age for a child to get braces may vary depending on the child’s orthodontic problem and unique development, children can get braces from as young as eight years old. The average age, though, is around eleven.
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends an early evaluation with your orthodontist in order to ‘screen’ for developing problems. If a child has misplaced, protruding or crowded teeth, he or she could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Children with habits such as thumb-sucking or mouth-breathing may also benefit from an early assessment. But, there are a few less obvious signs that may indicate they need treatment from a specialist orthodontist. An early check-up can help identify any problems and give you the chance to correct adverse growth and development patterns.
When Can a Child Start Orthodontic Treatment?
Overall, the earlier a child visits the orthodontist, the sooner orthodontic problems can be detected and the easier they will be to deal with. Interceptive treatment can be performed as early as age seven. This may include fitting an expander or sectional brace on some of the front teeth to improve any developing issues. Most children though will start orthodontic treatment at the end of childhood and the start of their teenage years.
Many adults start orthodontic treatment well past the age of eleven. So, if you or your child has not seen an orthodontist yet – it’s not too late! Whilst some issues are most easily dealt with at a younger age, it is also true that Orthodontic treatment can be beneficial at any age.
If you think your child would benefit from an orthodontic consultation, book an appointment with Fine Orthodontics in two locations on Sydneys east; Bondi and Maroubra.