Parenthood is full of many important decisions, and deciding when to get your child braces is no exception. The day they grow their first tooth to the day you begin considering braces may feel like a long time, but in reality, these two milestones are much closer than most parents think! At Jennings Orthodontics, we hear this question all the time: When should my child see an orthodontist?
Dr. Jennings recommends that you bring your child to see an orthodontist by the age of seven, following the American Association of Orthodontics guidelines. That may seem like a young age, but there are many reasons behind this advice, and we are here to unpack them all for you so that your child’s orthodontic journey is smooth-sailing.
Why age seven?
Medical treatment for any condition always works the best when started early on. Orthodontic treatment is no different. Because braces are one of the most common treatments that children, teens, and adults alike receive throughout the course of their lives, the earlier the doctor can begin tracking progress, the better. The empowering effects of beginning with a treatment plan at age seven are endless, and we’ve got just a handful listed here:
Whenever we experience something new, it’s natural to feel a little nervous. Typically, however, the younger we are when we try something new, the better we are able to cope with that stress. Over time, we are able to overcome those fears altogether and even learn to love the experience. The same goes for pediatric orthodontics.
Dr. Jennings has also found that sometimes the fear of getting braces keeps older patients from getting the confident smile they deserve. Had those patients learned that there is nothing to fear earlier in their lives, they would already be on their way to smile success!
By introducing your child to orthodontics early on in their lives, they can more easily wrap their minds around the process without fear. Seven-year-olds are adaptable and learn quickly just how safe the orthodontic office really is, meaning their entire orthodontic journey is that much smoother.
Early intervention means that sometimes, orthodontists can track more complex orthodontic issues before they grow into larger concerns. Because a seven-year-old’s jaw is still developing, these potential problems are more likely to respond to treatment. At this point, orthodontists can still redirect the natural growth of your child’s jawline, ensuring that dental issues that exist at a young age don’t make it into adulthood.
As they track the development of your child’s jaw structure, your orthodontist can also detect subtle changes over time. This allows them to know the exact age that they would benefit from braces — or it may even allow them to prevent misalignment altogether. Early screenings can prevent the need for oral surgery and lower the risk of injury caused by misalignment at a young age.
It is no secret that orthodontic treatment can become a little pricy, especially if your child has more serious dental concerns. The best way to cut these expenses is through early intervention at age seven. Because orthodontists can track the developing jawline of a child over time, they can also prevent many cost-heavy procedures that might have been necessary had they not stepped in sooner.
Jennings Orthodontics makes paying for braces easy with a range of accepted insurance plans and payment options at your fingertips. We even offer a free consultation! If you are worried about the cost of orthodontic treatment for your children, don’t let that stop you from speaking with Dr. Jennings.
Better Results Overall
Early intervention in your child’s orthodontic progress means their smile will look straighter and stay straight longer than patients who wait until later for their first checkup. That is because you’ll have the entire Jennings Orthodontic team at your side to tell you exactly which steps to take at each milestone of your child’s life. You’ll know when to begin treatment, which treatment works best for your child, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.
Consult an Orthodontist at Any Age
While the AAO recommends that you bring your child for their first visit at age seven, Dr. Jennings reminds parents that they should trust their instincts; if something seems wrong, it never hurts to reach out to your orthodontist for questions. If your child has trouble chewing, they’re breathing through their mouth more often than not, or experiencing pain in their jaw, check in with your orthodontist to ensure further treatment isn’t necessary.
The Jennings Orthodontics team is always there for you if you have concerns, and we are sure to put them to rest no matter your child’s age.
Will a regular dental visit work the same?
You may be wondering if your child’s pediatric dentist can monitor their development in the same way as an orthodontist. After all, by the age of seven, most children are already visiting their dentist regularly. Many parents feel that dental visits are enough to ensure that the development of their child’s teeth is effectively overseen. So why see an orthodontist?
Orthodontists are specifically trained for an additional 2-3 years to learn facial bone structure and development. This specialization makes orthodontists the better choice for guiding your child’s jaw growth and dentists the better choice for helping them learn healthy oral habits.
Their Smile is Our Passion
At Jennings Orthodontics, we don’t just straighten teeth – we build confidence. With a happy and healthy smile, your child is sure to grow to the height of their full potential because they will feel confident enough to reach for the stars. With that in mind, meeting with an orthodontist at the age of seven is essential for protecting your child’s future orthodontic interests, and we make it easy! If you have a second grader who may benefit from braces, schedule a free consultation with our team today.