Children and Orthodontics – When is the Right Time for Braces?

Braces in elementary school… Really? Orthodontics has changed a lot over the last several decades, and doctors now know that appropriate early intervention can actually reduce the amount of time kids spend in braces while producing even better results that will last a lifetime. At Smith & Weeks Orthodontic Specialists, we follow the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists that kids visit an Orthodontist for an evaluation no later than age 7, but that doesn’t mean orthodontic treatment will begin right away.

An early exam will help doctors determine the right course of action down the road and spot any potential problems before they start. In some cases, Smith & Weeks Orthodontic Specialists may recommend a two-stage treatment plan.

Phase one can involve braces on the early adult teeth to “set the table” and allow other adult teeth to emerge more naturally straight. When you see children in elementary school with braces, this is usually the type of treatment they are receiving. Once the table is set, phase-one braces are often removed and a child’s growth and progression is monitored.

When the time is right and most of the other adult teeth are in, braces can be reapplied in phase two to finish crafting the child’s ideal smile. Even when added together, treatment time in both phases is often less than the all-at-once orthodontic treatment of years past.

Early orthodontic treatment can also help prevent costly and painful tooth extractions, skeletal misalignments, and other trauma as children grow up.

Referrals from a dentist are not required to visit an orthodontist, so parents are free to bring their children to Smith & Weeks Orthodontic Specialists whenever they feel the time is right. Contact us today to learn more about the right time for braces and the many ways to make orthodontic treatment for your children more convenient and more cost-effective.

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