It isn’t always an easy answer to the question of when should your child have braces fitted, and you may get different answers from different orthodontists in Edmonton. They may even have a difference of opinion as to whether they are needed, and what type of treatment plan would be most appropriate. There are some factors to consider when trying to decide whether your child should have braces, and the input from your orthodontist only seems to confuse things even more.
However, the best person to decide if your child needs to have braces fitted is an excellent orthodontist, who is trained to recognize problems with the teeth and offer the best course of action to treat them. Children should be evaluated for braces before they reach the age of 7, according to the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, although the treatment at a younger age may be necessary if your child has any of the following:
- Teeth that are excessively overcrowded
- The lower and upper front teeth don’t meet – an open bite
- Upper teeth stick out past the lower teeth – an overbite
- The lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth – an underbite
- Upper and lower jaw don’t line up correctly – crossbite
Phase I and II Treatment
Partial braces or expanders are typically utilized in phase 1, which starts between the ages of 6 and 10, and before all the permanent teeth have had time to grow. This treatment, or early intervention treatment, is often focused on correcting a crossbite, overbite or underbite or making more room for growing teeth.
Typically between the ages of 11 and 13 when all the permanent teeth are in place, phase II or comprehensive treatment is recommended, often meaning full braces. It’s a good idea to take your child to see their orthodontist if you haven’t done recently, especially if there are indications of the problems mentioned above.
There are several benefits to taking your child to the orthodontist before he or she is 7. Any issues can be identified and treated sooner rather than later, and braces won’t need to be worn for a long, as the teeth are more easily guided for the braces to fit.