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Orthodontics for Kids: When Is the Right Time to Start?

Many parents will have heard that it’s best to address their child’s orthodontic issues while they’re still young, and there’s definitely some truth in this. However, they may not be so clear about what the ideal age to start treatment is, or if there’s even an ideal age at all.

We’ll examine why early treatment is often recommended and the factors that need to be considered when deciding when to start treatment so that you are able to make the best decisions to care for your child’s smile and dental health. We’ll also answer a few common questions about kids' dentistry. Read on!

Why is Early Treatment Recommended?
Early orthodontic treatment is often recommended largely because teeth are less set in their positions at this time. This means that treatment can deliver faster results and can usually be completed in a shorter amount of time. In some cases, a better end result may also be achievable with earlier treatment.

When left, orthodontic issues can also lead to other issues and can make it harder to keep the teeth and gums clean. Addressing them early will allow your child to avoid these problems.

What Age Should Treatment Start?
Typically, orthodontic treatment such as braces usually begins around 12 or 13 years of age. However, it is entirely possible for treatment to begin several years earlier than this, potentially even as young as nine.

Treatment is rarely recommended before this age as your child’s permanent teeth will not be fully in position at this point. If your child is experiencing issues eating or speaking, or is otherwise being negatively impacted by misaligned teeth or a bad bite before this age, you should still be sure to discuss this with your dentist.

What Are Some Indications That It May Be Too Soon for Treatment?
As mentioned previously, treatment is rarely recommended before your child’s permanent teeth are in place. This won’t always be the case, particularly if they’re experiencing issues resulting from an orthodontic condition, but is generally recommended.

It’s also essential that a good oral hygiene routine is in place before treatment starts. Depending on their age and maturity level, your child may take the lead with this and wish to handle it independently, or you may still be providing significant support and assistance. If you’re unsure about your child’s oral hygiene and how to maintain it, your dentist will be able to advise you.

The Sure-Fire Way To Know the Right Time for Treatment
There’s only one way to be certain that you’re making the right decisions at the right time when it comes to your child’s dental health, and that’s by relying on professional support. Speaking with a pediatric dentist or orthodontist who has experience dealing with younger patients will allow you to gain a full understanding of your child’s individual dental condition and whether any treatment is recommended.

Once you have this understanding, your pediatric dentist will be able to work with you to help you figure out what will be right for you and your child, so that you can take the next step with confidence and be sure that you’re doing the best for them and their future smile.

Our team has helped many parents just like you, so don’t hesitate to contact your trusted kids dentist in Kansas City and request an appointment for your child.

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