How Young is Too Young for Braces?
Parents may remember the tween and teen years as the time when many of their classmates got braces. Nowadays, children often see their friends getting braces at very young ages, even as early as age seven.
Although some kids benefit from braces at early ages, most do not. Getting braces before losing all baby teeth could lead to needing braces again at a later date – doubling the cost and time commitment for their families.
What Happens if Kids Get Braces Too Early?
Anxious parents may want their kids to fix their crooked teeth as soon as possible. Remember though that your children’s teeth will change when their permanent teeth come in.
If your child gets braces too early, it could require a second phase of treatment later on. This causes the following consequences:
- Extra Cost: Your child may need braces for four years instead of two. The time may double the cost – and braces aren’t cheap.
- More Time with Discomfort: Some children find braces to be embarrassing or uncomfortable. Although this doesn’t have to be the case, having to wear braces for longer than they anticipated could prove to be a social embarrassment.
- Extra Time Commitment: Braces require special care and frequent visits to the dentist. This is a big time commitment for both kids and parents, and the less time braces take, the better.
There’s no magical age for everyone, so parents and kids should consult with a dentist to determine the best treatment options. While most kids don’t need braces at a young age, they should still meet with a dentist as early as age seven so the dentist can weigh treatment plans. Still, most kids won’t need to get braces until age nine at the very youngest.
Some kids may benefit from early braces. These kids have dental problems that require immediate correction, such as a cross bite. That’s why it’s best to consult with a dentist early so they can detect any problems and evaluate a treatment plan before problems become severe. For common problems such as crooked or protruding teeth, though, braces can wait.
How Old Is Too Old for Braces?
With children getting braces at young ages, adults may wonder if they’ve missed the treatment window and are now too old to get braces. Fortunately, it’s never too late to fix a dental problem. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five new patients is an adult.
Whether your child needs an evaluation or whether you are considering braces for yourself, contact our nearest location. Your dentist can catch teeth problems early on and advise you of treatment options. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!