As a parent, you want what’s best for your children, including their smiles. You might want them to hop into our chair as soon as they’re old enough to correct any misalignments or malocclusions. If you notice your child needs braces, is it better to get them started now, or can you wait until adulthood?
If the dentist notices some issues with your child’s jaw or tooth alignment, there are many good reasons not to wait to take them to the orthodontist. The sooner you can get braces for your child, the better the outcomes typically are – though, in some circumstances, there are good reasons to wait until they are older. Here’s why!
Why Should My Child Get Braces As Soon As Possible?
Most experts will recommend that children get braces between the ages of ten and fourteen. At this age, children still have some growing to do with their face and within their mouth, making moving the teeth much easier than it would be later as their jaw and teeth stop growing. Orthodontists use the conduciveness of growing teeth to their patient’s advantage!
The longer parents wait to take their children in for orthodontic work, the worse the problem can get. Depending on the situation, teenagers and adults can be stuck wearing their braces for a longer period to correct misalignments that have only become more serious with age. When a problem with teeth is set, more intensive work is needed to correct it – as well as a higher price tag.
Of course, no two children or dental cases are the same. Making the correct choice means taking into account the seriousness of the problem, and if your child is seriously struggling because of misaligned teeth or a bite, you should consider seeking treatment early. But if an orthodontist does say you can wait, there are many reasons to do so!
What If My Child Is Self-Conscious?
Many children suffer from self-esteem issues, which can be compounded by the thought of getting braces. There are “invisible options” such as aligners which in many cases, can be an option for orthodontic treatment. But, if the situation is not an emergency, parents can consider waiting until their teen is more secure in themselves before opting for orthodontics. A change in appearance at this age could be unsettling to a child who is already sensitive. They might feel more open to schoolyard teasing and develop low self-esteem just from the thought of themselves with braces.
When considering your options, know that your child can get orthodontic treatment at any age. An orthodontist will be upfront with you if your child should get their orthodontic treatment right away, usually when they see any crowded teeth and bad bites that will worsen with age. However, if your child struggles with the thought of getting braces, talk to your orthodontist to see if waiting is ok!