Most children wandering middle and high school hallways had braces, have braces, or will get them soon. Yet now there is a rise in elementary school children getting braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, 7-years-old is now the perfect time to see whether children need braces.
The number of kids ages 17 and younger getting braces has risen 46% over the past decade to 3.8 million in 2008, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. The Association’s president stated that 15-20% of 7-10 year-olds he sees get orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontists state it is better to correct underbites and narrow upper arches while the jaw is still growing. Patients who are 7 or 8 years-old can get a palatal expander that will widen the upper jaw as it grows, so the teeth line up better with the lower teeth. Then when they are teenagers, the next treatment is hopefully quick and simple.
Many parents want their young children to get braces because they think it will help prevent intense orthodontic treatment when they are older. Also, since children are now more self-image conscious, they hope braces will prevent cooked teeth embarrassment.
Yet, early treatment doesn’t help all orthodontic problems. Studies have shown that overbite or buck teeth treatments at a younger age doesn’t have as much benefit as doing it later on in adolescence.
Orthodontists usually only recommend early intervention when it will help the patient in the future. Yet, orthodontists are feeling more pressure to give children braces at earlier ages to satisfy parents' and children’s self-esteems.
At Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry we care about your oral health and your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our Invisalign treatment, an invisible way to straighten your smile.