Orthodontics for Kids

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Orthodontics for Children

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist by age seven.

At age seven, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for an orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight.
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches.
  • Create more space for crowded teeth.
  • Possibly avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life.
  • Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems.

It's not always easy for a parent to know if their child needs orthodontic treatment. Dr. Nelson is trained to detect when preventative treatment is necessary or not. He typically waits until a child has all of his/her adult teeth before starting braces, but in 10-20% of children, severe problems can be avoided by starting orthodontic treatment early.

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Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?

  • Straight teeth are healthy teeth. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
  • A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence. Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
  • Mouths left untreated can get worse. Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.