One common question we field at our Sacramento, CA office is, “When is a good age for my child to start orthodontic treatments?” Dr. David Markham regularly consults with parents about what age their children can begin Invisalign treatments or braces. He will base his recommendations on several factors. If you are curious about which factors may influence the age your child begins orthodontic treatments, this blog will help.
Factors That Influence Your Child’s Treatment Timeline
By age 8, 9, or soon after, the average child has lost most of his or her baby teeth, and the majority of permanent teeth have fully emerged. One factor that will impact when your child begins orthodontic treatment is the severity of the misalignment of your child’s teeth. Dr. Markham may recommend Invisalign or braces to address:
- Crooked teeth
- Overlapping teeth
- Dental crowding
- Malocclusion (overbite or underbite)
The average age that children begin using braces is around 11. Beyond the severity of your child’s teeth misalignment, these factors may influence when your child begins orthodontic treatment.
- Whether all of your child’s adult teeth have emerged
- Whether your child is developmentally ready to clean and maintain braces
- Whether your child has completed treatments to address jaw alignment that braces cannot address
- Whether your child has completed early intervention orthodontics
Pinpointing the perfect age for braces can be difficult. Fortunately, there’s no expiration date on when braces can be placed. Each child’s mouth develops at different rates. Some children may have all of their adult teeth by age nine. Others may be new a few more years. The consensus is that early adolescence is an ideal time.
A Healthy Smile Starts With An Early Orthodontic Evaluation
In general, your child should have his or her first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Although your child may still have adult teeth that are yet to emerge, this early evaluation will allow Dr. Markham to begin learning about the orthodontic needs of your child. An orthodontist like Dr. Markham has specialized training in straightening teeth that your family dentist may not have. During your child’s first orthodontic evaluation, Dr. Markham may:
- Examine your child’s teeth and jaw
- Examine your child’s bite (jaw alignment)
- Take X-rays of your child’s teeth and jaws to see how they are positioned
- Take a mold or impression of your child’s teeth
Dr. Markham is an advocate for early intervention orthodontics. By acting early, later orthodontic treatments may be less invasive and more effective. Examples of early intervention orthodontics include:
- Tooth extraction (of baby teeth) to help adult teeth emerge easily
- Use of a fixed or removable appliance to move teeth, reposition the jaw or hold adult teeth in place
Contact Our Office Today
There are many factors to consider when deciding what age is best for your child to undergo orthodontic treatments. We are proud to offer high-quality, precision orthodontic care in the Sacramento, CA, and Auburn, CA areas. If you would like to see what orthodontic treatment options are available for you, contact our practice to schedule a free consultation with our team! Contact our office online or call us at (916) 924-8970.