Braces at 7? What Age is Best?

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Except in extreme cases, there's no need to start orthodontic treatment as early as age 7.

Long gone are the days when kids only wore braces in high school, and it seems kids are getting them on earlier and earlier, too.  But is getting into braces at a very early age necessary or just over-zealous parenting? It depends on your child’s issue. Today, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children see an orthodontist by age 7 at the latest in order to check for crowded, spaced, or crooked teeth and misaligned jaws and bite. Kids with these issues may require treatment as early as third grade.

Early intervention is necessary when:

• A child has an underbite: When the jaw sticks out putting the lower teeth in front of the upper, causing chewing issues and even speech problems. This happens to 5 percent of kids.

• A child with an overbite (buck teeth). Early treatment for this problem with braces or a palatal expander may improve a child’s appearance and bolster his self-esteem. This occurs to 25 percent of kids.

But except for extreme cases (where teeth are at risk of being knocked out or chipped), there are few benefits to starting orthodontics early.

To locate a pediatric dentist or orthodontists, SEE OUR DIRECTORIES HERE.

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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