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What age should I take my child for their first orthodontist check up?

Ever feel as though, like doctors and police officers, kids with braces are getting younger every day? If you’re bamboozled by braces for your kids and when you need to investigate it, Dr Guy Deeming (who likes straight teeth AND straight answers) has a few for you right here.

Apr 14, 2023

What age should I take my child for their first orthodontist check up?

When should I first take my child to the orthodontist?

I’d suggest considering an assessment at around age nine to see how things are looking. But don’t panic if your child is already older. The British Society of Orthodontics will tell you that an average age is 12-13. Like learning to ride a skateboard, these things take a little longer the older you are, so get a head start if you can but it’s never too late… for straightening your teeth OR skateboarding (though the latter may not always help with the former). 

What age can children have braces from?

With new treatments such as Invisalign First some children with specific problems as young as 7 or 8 can really benefit from Phase I treatment to get ahead for the tricky teenage years. 

When should I worry about my child’s teeth?

Never! We got this for you. Issues that might be worth looking at early are damage to the teeth or gums, which can be caused by a ‘crossbite’. That’s ‘dentist’ for when the position of the teeth or jaw means the top and bottom teeth cross over the wrong way. You can call it a ‘malocclusion’ if you want to sound fancy and impress your dentist pals. 

Do I need to wait until my child has their main adult teeth?

Not at all. In fact, the treatments we use, such as Invisalign First, give us orthodontists the chance to work with developing teeth with the aim of making any other treatment simpler, quicker or not needed at all!

How does Invisalign work for young children?

Exactly the same way as Invisalign for teens or adults does, with the same benefits of being discreet and easy to use (and clean!). It won’t interfere with hobbies such as sport or playing musical instruments, so whether you have a rugby player or a French horn virtuoso on your hands, or even someone who doesn’t want to be ‘the kid with braces’, it’s all good. And they can still eat anything and everything they like (though we do still frown upon toffee. Hey. I’m a dentist. Toffee-hatin’ is in my blood).

Do early braces mean they won’t need them as teens?

That depends but generally, Phase One Treatment (age 7-10) can sometimes mean that treatment in their teens is simpler, quicker or not needed at all. It can also be used with specific issues that need nipping in the bud. 

My child’s teeth look crowded. When can they have orthodontic treatment?

It depends on why they are crowded. Again – the best way to find out why and how it can be treated is to get in touch to see if Phase I early treatment might help. 

My child’s being teased about their teeth at school. When can they have braces?

Some kids really can be little charmers, at times, can’t they? It’s one of the reasons why we work with Kidscape, who have lots of tips on dealing with bullying and just learning to be assertive and more confident in the playground. Back to the braces though: Invisalign can be used from a much younger age than lots of parents think, meaning a confidence-boosting grin can be available much quicker and more easily than before. Best of all, the new treatments, such as Invisalign, are barely noticeable, so there’s no concern over feeling self-conscious about treatment. Having said that, we find many of our young patients are keen to show off their Invisalign to their peers (check out our stickables for the more flamboyant aligner wearer).

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