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Does My Third Grader Need Braces?

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Each year, more and more people — adults and children alike — turn to orthodontic treatments to straighten their teeth, correct bite misalignment, and otherwise improve their smile. While it is understandable to be anxious to start your child's journey toward straighter teeth as soon as possible, it may be advisable to wait until they have reached certain dental and oral development milestones. Here, pediatric dentist Dr. Jeni Kong of Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry in Lawrenceville, GA discusses the appropriate timing for children to begin orthodontic treatments, which factors may make early orthodontic intervention appropriate, and other things to consider when determining if and when your elementary school-aged child needs braces.

Is eight years old too young for braces?

While many children lose teeth at similar ages, it is important to keep in mind that each child's growth and development are unique. Because of this, keeping up with your child's regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings is essential for allowing Dr. Jeni to monitor their oral structure and determine if and when it may be appropriate to consider an orthodontic consultation. In some cases, elementary school-aged children as young as 8 or 9 may benefit from braces or another early orthodontic intervention, while other patients may be advised to wait until they are further along in their dental development.

Do you have to lose all of your baby teeth before getting braces?

One of the most commonly asked questions about pediatric orthodontics is whether a child has to lose all of their baby teeth prior to getting braces. The answer varies from patient to patient based on several individual factors, including their overall oral anatomy and any structural or developmental issues that may be identified. Generally speaking, patients with normal dental and oral anatomy who do not have bite alignment or spacing issues can usually wait until they have lost all of their baby teeth before getting braces. However, children with significant alignment or crowding may largely benefit from early orthodontic intervention to correct these problems prior to their adult teeth coming in. These may include:

  • Excessive overbite
  • Significant underbite
  • Crossbite (posterior or anterior)

Throughout your child's course of care, Dr. Jeni will closely monitor their dental and oral structures and recommend an orthodontic consultation should it become appropriate.

Will my child need more than one round of braces?

When a child undergoes orthodontic treatment early on, especially prior to losing all of their baby teeth, they may require additional treatments in the future to address alignment, spacing, and other needs that arise once their permanent teeth are in place. Again, however, there are some scenarios when it is considered appropriate and necessary to begin orthodontic treatments early, and Dr. Jeni will work with you and your child to determine the most appropriate timing for your unique needs.

Questions about pediatric braces? Ask our children's dentist in Lawrenceville, GA

If you are concerned about your child's dental development or have questions about whether it may be the right time to look into braces for your child, we can help. To learn more about when and why orthodontic treatment for children may be an appropriate step, call Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry to schedule your child's exam and consultation with Lawrenceville, GA children's dentist Dr. Jeni Kong today,

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.