The need to fit braces for a child can all depend on how their teeth develop as they grow. It is wise to keep a regular schedule of dental check ups for your child so that your dentist can continuously keep a check on the oral health of your child, and will be able to spot early signs of overcrowding or crooked teeth development.
Usually a child will be assessed for braces at around the age of seven or eight years old, depending on their growth rate and physical development. Your dentist will do a thorough check and evaluate such things as misalignment, bite function and any issues such as gum infections, cavities, damage or tooth decay.
At this stage your dentist will be able to assess whether your child would benefit from a brace or a different oral device or a another treatment that will help their oral health. Sometimes your dentist can take early action to prevent many dental issues from developing, such as chewing difficulties, over or under bite, abnormal tooth wear, jaw pain or speech problems.
So is there a best age for braces?
While most orthodontic concerns can be remedied at just about any age, treating crooked teeth or an overcrowded jaw in a child can be much easier than treating an adult. As a child’s head and jaws are still growing, taking steps to correct dental issues now can mean them having perfect teeth once they stop growing and reach adulthood.
The middle-school years from the age or around 11 to 14 or 15 years old would be the best time to fit a child with braces. It is not just the age of your child that matters, but also their ability to look after their braces and ensure that they wear them. Many young teenagers are pretty self-conscious so may be a little resistant to wearing a brace, but they need to understand that the consequences of not wearing their braces can be very detrimental for years ahead.
It is also important that your child understands that they need to step-up their oral hygiene routine. This includes regular brushing twice per day and the use of a good mouthwash to help flush out food particles that may have become stuck in their braces.
Looking after their braces
As their braces start to work to re-position their teeth, it is also very important that your child speaks up should they start to feel any pain, develop sore patches on their gums if the brace starts to move or rub and also if they feel their braces are becoming loose. These are all signs that they need to visit the dentist to have their braces checked over and adjusted.
How long will braces need to be worn?
The length of time your child will need to wear their braces will depend on a few factors. Your child may need to wear their braces for a longer period of time should they have a higher degree of misalignment that needs addressing. If they have had any teeth removed, then there will be gaps left by the vacant teeth that will need to be closed up by neighbouring teeth. Your dentist can give you a rough idea of how long you can expect your child to wear their braces, but this may change depending on how receptive they are to the treatment.