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  • Writer's pictureMin Soo Kim

When Is The Right Time To Start Braces For My Kids ?

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Updated: March 10

Frequently asked questions from parents are, I know that my kids need braces, but when would be the best timing to start them? Yes, it is a difficult question to answer, as every kid's condition may differ, and there are so many different approaches available to do braces. So the best option would be consulting your dentist and orthodontist for your individual case. I will try to point out some important information to consider for your kids.

For kids 2-6 years old This is when most kids have full baby teeth without any adult teeth. The main thing that we look for at this stage is;

  • Constricted upper arch

  • Dental crossbite (Lower teeth are biting outside of upper teeth)

This is because our jaw bone is growing rapidly at this stage. We don't want the wrongly positioned teeth to be causing asymmetrical bone growth. The upper arch (i.e. Maxillar) bone is separated at this stage, allowing us to expand and correct issues relatively easily. As kids grow, these bones fuse and this treatment option may not be possible without surgical intervention. It would be advisable to get the treatment started as soon as possible or bring them to a dental professional's attention to monitor the issue, so that appropriate treatment can be rendered at the right timing. Additionally, kids who have thumb sucking habit are recommended to be stopped before 6 years old to prevent permanent mouth/teeth changes. For kids 6-12 This is when kids are in the mixed dentition stage, where both baby teeth and adult teeth are in their mouth. Things to look out for are;

  • Excessive overbite; a deep bite that upper teeth completely cover lower teeth, or lower teeth bite on the roof of the mouth

  • Excessive overjet: Big gap between upper and lower teeth

  • Excessive dental crowding

  • Crossbite at the front; Lower teeth are biting in front of upper teeth

At this stage, we can consider getting in and fixing minor orthodontic issues to avoid the need for full braces in the future or make the problem less severe, so their full braces in the future will be simpler.

For kids 12-16 This is the optimal time to consider braces as kids have their full adult dentition, and they are still in their growth stage. We want to do braces when the kids are still growing because we can simultaneously fix underlying skeletal and dental issues. We can manage the underdeveloped upper arch and minor bone discrepancies while still growing. However, if the growth has completed, we can only change the teeth' position, but we cannot do anything about the position of the bone supporting them. Additionally, rapid growth occurring in their body allows quick teeth movement. My apologies as there are so many important issues I couldn't cover in this writing. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further advice. Email: Phone: (02) 6767 1601

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