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24541 Pacific Park Drive, Suite #104
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Braces?

Boy Smiling Brushing His Teeth With Braces

The development of our oral health begins much earlier than many parents know. The first stages of our dental development start in the womb, with our teeth developing within our jaw as a fetus. Once we’re born, oral health care is vital to ensuring a future with healthy teeth. This becomes especially important when our primary (baby) teeth start coming in. These teeth set the stage for developing our adult smile. They can often reveal concerns before our permanent teeth arrive. This means that receiving dental care early is essential, and your child’s first orthodontic visit should occur before their ninth year. OC Kids Dental is here to help you navigate your child’s developmental years to help ensure they have a future with a healthy and beautiful smile.

When Should My Child Be Assessed For Braces?

Thankfully, not every child is going to find themselves in need of orthodontic care. However, it’s essential for those with overcrowded teeth, misaligned jaws, or complications caused by habits like sucking their thumb. It can spell the difference between a perfect smile and future health problems for these children. When we reach seven years of age, we can identify future problems and concerns based on observations made during a dental exam. 

Once identified, a proper plan for addressing them can be developed, making it possible to significantly reduce or even eliminate these problems in their adult smile. While treatment typically can’t begin until after age 9, when the permanent teeth start to appear, this early diagnosis makes preparing in advance possible. During your child’s first orthodontic-focused appointment at OC Kids Dental, the following topics will be approached:

  • Overcrowding – Imaging will be taken to determine if your child is at risk of experiencing overcrowding. Those with this condition have more teeth than can comfortably fit in their mouth. This generally does not mean extra teeth as much as a jaw that has developed in a way that cannot accommodate the typical 32. Extraction followed by braces is a common approach to helping to generate a straight and beautiful smile.
  • Jaw Misalignment – Your child will also be checked for a misaligned jaw or malocclusion. This condition is where the upper and lower arches of teeth don’t properly align, resulting in a poor bite. While malocclusion can also result from overcrowding, jaw misalignment is often the cause. Identifying a jaw misalignment early can make it easier and faster to properly realign the jaw before the adult smile is fully realized.
  • Personal Habits – Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing can negatively impact your child’s oral health and smile formation. We can provide meaningful methods of reversing these habits or finding ways to address concerns such as mouth breathing.

All the information gathered during your child’s first orthodontic assessment with OC Kids Dental will be used to plan their future smiles. We’re dedicated to ensuring that our patients receive affordable, effective care. This often means starting early to reduce future costs and produce superior results.

Discover How Early Orthodontic Care Saves Smiles

Contact our team today by calling (949) 362-9860 to schedule your child’s next dental visit and discuss the benefits of early orthodontic assessment. Together we’ll help establish a treatment plan to ensure lasting oral health with proactive treatments today!

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