Do Children Need Orthodontic Care?

Categories: General Dentistry

For many children, orthodontic work feels like a rite of passage, and many even look forward to getting braces. This is because adolescence is the most common time for a person to be fitted with braces. It is an age range that orthodontists and physicians commonly recommend. There is no set age for children who need them to get braces. However, the most common range is between 9 and 14 years of age. It is advisable to pursue orthodontic work at a younger age because braces or aligners can help address current issues before they become worse with time. It can also prevent issues that may otherwise arise in the future.


When should a child first see an orthodontist?

According to Stanford Children’s Health, a child should have a consultation with an orthodontist by age 7. This does not mean they will get braces by that age, but an earlier consultation can help parents start planning if they will be required later in the child’s life. This can also help avoid a child from needing braces since orthodontists can use dental appliances other than braces to prevent future issues. An orthodontic consultation before age 7 is advised for parents who notice the following habits or characteristics in their child:


  • Early, late, or abnormal loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty with chewing or biting
  • Breathing through their mouth
  • Sucking their thumb or fingers
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make noises (like clicking), protrude or are recessed
  • Biting their cheek or the roof of their mouth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are disproportional to the rest of their face


What issues do orthodontics address?

When many people think of braces, they imagine a solution that simply straightens teeth, but braces can also fix a wide range of other issues, including those unrelated to appearance. Some of these include:


  • Teeth that are crooked or overcrowded
  • Tooth gaps or excessive space between teeth
  • Overbites – upper front teeth that overlap the lower teeth vertically
  • Overjets – upper front teeth that overlap the lower teeth horizontally
  • Underbites – upper front teeth that fall behind lower teeth
  • Uneven bites due to misalignment of the jaw
  • Aches or pains resulting from misalignment of the jaw
  • Issues with closing the jaw or chewing
  • Speech issues


While braces are also options for adults, the majority are children. This is because issues like the ones mentioned above become exacerbated over time, making them much more time-consuming and expensive to treat than at a younger age. Adolescent orthodontic work also makes sense because children are much more likely to have peers who also have braces, making this age a logical period during which to be fitted for braces.


If you wish to learn more about a dentist with nearly 18 years of experience that offers full-service orthodontics in La Mesa, CA, call Javadi Smiles today at (619) 464-4411 or contact us online.