San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Teens and adults alike seek orthodontic treatment to achieve straighter teeth. But, aesthetics isn’t the only reason why orthodontics may be necessary. Most people opt to have their teeth straightened during adolescence, but, if you’re a parent, you might be wondering when your child should get braces. The correct answer varies from person to person, but San Francisco dentists at Glen Park Dental want to help parents understand the importance of early orthodontic evaluations and why the answer to your question might surprise you.
Your child can be evaluated for braces as early as seven years old
Does that mean your child will get braces at that age? Probably not. By this age, permanent teeth have emerged, and the dentist can estimate how your child’s permanent teeth will align. If the alignment of a child’s teeth is affecting their ability to eat or speak, then orthodontic intervention may be appropriate.
Certain other conditions can make braces at an early age the best option:
- Protruding teeth
- Crowding in the mouth
- Open mouth posture
- Mouth breathing
If your child has any of these problems, schedule a consultation with Glen Park Dental.
We can perform a “pre-orthodontic” evaluation, even on young children. This can identify any issues with the development of the bite or growth of the jaws. Intervention at this point through functional orthodontics can alleviate these issues and may even resolve any problems with tooth crookedness without ever needing braces. In some cases, we can aid your child’s jaw development and tooth alignment through the use of Orthotropics, or specially designed oral appliances that stimulate jawbone growth.
Ideally, early orthodontic intervention guides your child’s jawbone growth, which allows for their teeth to erupt straight and in proper alignment. In some cases, this pre-orthodontic treatment may lessen the chance that your child may need braces later on. At the least, their stint in braces may be shortened. Plus, it may reduce their risk of developing a narrow airway or sleep-breathing disorders such as sleep apnea.
What if my child needs braces?
Braces have come a long way from what you might remember. Forget what you think you know about braces. Today, the braces being used by a state-of-the-art dental practice like Glen Park Dental are quite different from metal braces of the past. We offer braces with tooth-colored brackets, which can be matched to the shade of your natural teeth. This makes your braces all but indistinguishable in your mouth.
Adolescents should be old enough to maintain their braces and oral hygiene on their own with minimal involvement from parents. Each patient is different, but the average length of time that an adolescent wears braces is 18-24 months.
Braces in San Francisco
Glen Park Dental offers several forms of orthodontic treatment, including state-of-the-art braces that represent the cutting edge of dental science. If you or a member of your family is interested in braces, schedule a consultation today by calling (415) 585-1500 if you live in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.