When To Start Braces
Most of my patients ask me when to start braces for their kids. I have been practicing orthodontics in Oregon since 1995 and so I have seen many of my pediatric dental patients grow up from infancy through their teens.
Some orthodontists recommend treating crooked teeth or teeth that do not occlude (bite together properly) in two phases or treatment steps. The first phase usually starts around second or third grade and a second phase around sixth grade.
Treating jaw problems early has not been well supported with excellent randomized controlled clinical trials. These studies show that equivalent results are achieved with either one or two phases of treatment but that two treatment phases usually costs more and takes longer.
I believe that there ARE tooth alignment or spacing problems that are best treated early; before the back primary teeth come out.
Reasons to treat early:
Reasons to wait until later for orthodontic appliances:
As you can see, there are some reasons to start early but if your child has crowded teeth and can wait until middle school, you and your child will be better off for waiting.
My daughter was a little nervous to have her dental work done but everyone in the office was super friendly and very reassuring and that helped her nervousness go away. Thanks for the excellent dental experience. ~ Lilyana G.
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