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Is My Child Old Enough For Braces?

Many of us associate braces with teens, pre-teens and yearbook photos. But it might surprise you to learn that 13-17 year olds don’t own the corner in that market! Orthodontic treatments such as braces and Invisalign are available to patients of all ages.

Are you a curious parent? As your local family dentist in Rancho Peñasquitos we invite you stop by and learn more about your smile!

At Which Age Should My Child Be Evaluated For Braces?

Many parents want to know at what age they can start assessing their children’s need for braces or some sort of orthodontic treatment. Understandably, they want the best for their children and worry about both rushing…or waiting too long!

It is recommended that all children visit an orthodontist by age 7. This may seem much younger from your own experience–either seeing others or having braces yourself–but it’s for a good reason.

Over time, enough data has been collected to support the idea that early intervention sets the foundation for permanent teeth to come in correctly. It also can help prevent the future need for complicated, invasive dental procedures like extractions.

Why Would My Child Need Braces?

Many reasons are genetic, such as the misaligned bites we referred to above that usually come from a parent or grandparent. There might be some bad habits, like thumb sucking, that cause problems, or the following:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
  • Overcrowding
  • Irregularly placed teeth
  • Problems with chewing or biting
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds

When Should I Take My Child For An Orthodontic Evaluation?

Your dentist will help you determine if your child might benefit from a visit around 5 or 6 years-old, or if he or she can wait until the baby teeth have come and gone. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a first evaluation visit to the orthodontist no later than age 7.

While your little one may not need orthodontic treatment at the time of your first orthodontic visit, it will be useful for all involved to identify an early treatment plan. Your son or daughter might already be showing signs of an overbite, a crossbite, or crowding. These dental issues, also known as malocclusions, can cause further complications when they are older.

How Do I Find An Orthodontist?

Great question! First, let’s get down to the nitty gritty: an orthodontist is a dentist who’s had two years of additional training to become licensed in his specialized field.

Since dental technology continues to evolve at an accelerated speed, we advise that you choose an orthodontist who keeps his or her finger on the pulse of the latest research and best practices.

If you believe you found a potential orthodontist, visit the office with your child. How does the office staff treat everyone? Do you feel comfortable with the doctor? More importantly, does your child?

You can also look around the office and check out his or her diploma to ensure that “Dip. Ortho” (Diplomate in Orthodontics) appears after his or her name.

Orthodontic Care in Rancho Peñasquitos

At Carmel Mountain Dental Care, we are proud to provide orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages and backgrounds. We also love to reassure nervous parents and children about their treatment plans, and will be walking through the entire process with you from start to finish.

If you are curious about braces for your child, please give us a call at (858) 484-4880 to schedule your next appointment. Our office can be found at 9310 Carmel Mountain Rd in San Diego, CA. We invite new patients from Rancho Peñasquitos, Poway, and all of our families in or near 92129!

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