Straight, perfectly aligned teeth are important for a number of reasons. They promote a higher level of self-confidence and an improved self-image in individuals, and they also promote improved results when eating and speaking. While many people are born with perfectly straight teeth, their pretty baby teeth fall out and are replaced by crooked, misaligned adult teeth. Many kids and teens can benefit from some type of orthodontic care, but you may be wondering how soon is too soon for kids to get braces. The fact is that kids are getting braces as well as retainers and other types of orthodontic treatments much earlier now.
The Concern About Getting Care Too Early
Some kids today are getting braces on at eight years old or younger. These are kids who are still losing baby teeth and who still have many adult teeth that haven’t made their debut yet. In fact, some of those teeth may not even been fully formed under the gum line yet. In addition, these kids largely have not gone through their major growth spurts that occur in their teen years, and these growth spurts can change the amount of space in the mouth and even the shape of the jaw slightly. Many people believe that getting braces on too soon is a waste of money because the teeth in the mouth are still moving around.
The Case For Care in Younger Years
However, many orthodontists and dentists are recommending orthodontic services in a child’s pre-pubescent years now. While some parents believe that this is simply a money grab, the fact is that there are good reasons for this. Some kids who wear braces in their younger years will need to wear braces a second time after their mouths have developed more, but in many cases, the care that they receive in their younger years minimizes the level of orthodontic services required. Orthodontists can use their services to provide space for adult teeth to fall into their appropriate place and with straight alignment, and this may negate the need for braces in the future.
Furthermore, many parents and kids alike would rather that their kids wear braces for a shorter period of time in their teen years. After all, many parents have not-so-fond memories of wearing braces to Prom or going on their first date wearing braces. If kids can be out of braces earlier, that is preferable for some.
What’s Best For You?
Each child has a unique need for orthodontic care, so it is important to listen carefully to your orthodontist and to ask questions. In addition, you may consider obtaining a second opinion and getting a second quote. As a final note, orthodontic care is generally not cheap. While braces may be needed at some point, you can consider taking a few months or years to save up for this major expense rather than straining your budget by paying for service before you are ready.
Here are a few other articles written by this author:
How Positive is Your Parenting?
Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends
Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In