When Should My Child Get Braces?

Do you think that your child may need orthodontic treatment? Wondering when they should get braces and corrective care to ensure a healthy smile and bite? In this blog from Molly Hottenstein Orthodontics, we’ll discuss the basics of recognizing early signs of orthodontic problems, how early orthodontic intervention works, what to expect from your child’s treatment plan, and more. Let’s get started now. 

Recognizing Early Signs Of Orthodontic Problems

The best way to recognize early signs of orthodontic problems is to see an experienced orthodontist such as Dr. Molly Hottenstein for a consultation. It’s recommended that your child see an orthodontist for an ortho consultation by the age of 7-8 years old.

Still, you may be wondering if there’s any way for you to recognize potential orthodontic problems in your child before you see a dentist. There are a few common signs that indicate your child should see an orthodontist for further treatment and diagnosis. These include:

  • Teeth that don’t fit together properly, such as lower teeth that jut out farther than the upper teeth (underbite) or upper teeth that jut out farther than the lower teeth (overbite)
  • A gap between your child’s teeth, even when their mouth is closed (open bite)
  • Early loss or late loss of one or more baby teeth
  • Crowded, uneven, or crooked baby teeth and adult teeth
  • Speech impediments or difficulty chewing and eating food properly
  • Thumb sucking that persists past the age of 2-4
  • Mouth breathing
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth

If you think your child may be affected by one or more of these issues, you should see an experienced orthodontist in Wyomissing right away for an orthodontic consultation. 

What Is Early Intervention Treatment (Phase 1 Orthodontics?) 

Early intervention treatment, also called “phase 1 orthodontics,” is intended to correct major issues with your child’s smile while their jaw is still growing and their adult teeth have not yet all grown in. It’s usually recommended for kids between the age of 6-8 years old.

In contrast, “phase 2” orthodontic treatment with metal braces usually starts at the age of 12-13, when your child has all of their adult teeth. 

The primary benefit of phase 1 orthodontics is that it can correct your child’s smile and bite earlier in their life, and ensure that their teeth develop properly. This can reduce or completely eliminate the need for braces later in their life, and improve their overall oral health as they grow.

What Can I Expect During My Child’s Orthodontic Treatment? 

Each child is different, so each phase 1 treatment plan is different, too. Common treatments used in early intervention treatment include palate expanders to widen the mouth and make room for more teeth, and headgear to correct jaw growth and alignment. Braces may also be used alongside these treatments to correct the position of the teeth. 

Depending on your child and the extent of their orthodontic issues, treatment may take anywhere from 6-12 months or longer. 

Contact Our Office For An Orthodontic Appointment Now! 

If you have a young child and suspect that they may need orthodontic treatment for issues like an overbite or underbite, or improperly-aligned teeth, it’s best to get help from an experienced orthodontist as soon as possible.

So don’t wait. To get an orthodontic screening in Wyomissing, just contact Molly Hottenstein Orthodontics online, or give us a call at (484) 258-2299. We’re always here to help your little ones get the help they need to grow up with a healthy, bright, and straight smile. 

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