For some kids and teens, braces are a one-and-done situation. Well, unless they don’t wear their retainer after getting their braces off… then they might need braces again as an adult. That’s a different story! But some young patients benefit from more than one round of orthodontic treatment in childhood or their teenage years.
Depending on a child’s age and development, braces could treat and help prevent crooked and overcrowded teeth, as well as alignment issues with their bite and jaw.
Some alignment issues can be more complex to correct once all the adult teeth grow in. This usually happens by age 13. Starting treatment younger, while they still have some baby teeth, can help guide your child’s development so they actually need to spend less overall time in braces than they would otherwise.
The best way to know if your child would benefit from early orthodontic treatment is to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. We recommend this appointment occur around seven or eight years of age. Keep in mind that your child may not need to start treatment at this time. Your orthodontist will determine the proper course of action for your child’s smile.
During phase one of treatment, a space maintainer or expander may help your child’s jaw develop properly or prevent overcrowding. Or braces are added to their adult teeth while waiting for their remaining baby teeth to fall out.
Phase one of treatment is crucial for children with certain bite misalignments, such as an underbite, as it can prevent the need for surgery altogether when they’re older.