Most kids get braces by the time they are in middle school. But there are some cases where kids need to get braces a little bit earlier or later. So, when do kids usually get braces? And what are the reasons why? Keep reading to find out!
I will say that I totally had this question. You see kids getting them in elementary school, but our dentist never mentioned anything at our check-ups. However, once she entered middle school they did say it was about time to get an orthodontic consult.
At what age do kids get braces?
Ideally, kids should be evaluated for orthodontic treatment by around age seven. This is because it’s during this age that the permanent teeth start to come in and any irregularity in their arrangement can be corrected early on. After the initial evaluation, if an orthodontist finds that your child would benefit from braces, they’ll typically recommend treatment start in the late elementary or early middle school years.
What happens at an orthodontic consult?
For us, they mostly looked at her X-rays and initially felt like she still needed a few teeth to fall out /grow-in before they would be a benefit to her.
But, on the next consult they just said she needed braces. I actually asked for an informed consent from the orthodontist, asking the risks and the benefits, but she clearly acted like everyone needs braces.
Which I disagree with.
Your doctor should give you the risks and the benefits of the procedure (and any alternatives).
The main risks would be infection, pain at their teeth, and clearly the cost of the treatment. I wish she would have mentioned those….
Reasons for getting braces
There are a few reasons why kids might need to get braces: crooked teeth, crowding, and jaw misalignment. If your child has crooked teeth, chances are, they’ll need braces to give them a confident smile.
Crowding is when there’s not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth to fit, leading to misalignment. Orthodontic treatment can help with this problem as well.
Last but not least, jaw misalignment or malocclusion is when the upper and lower jaws don’t align properly, resulting in an uneven bite. Braces can also help with this issue.
How we struggled with braces
My oldest child had never had good teeth hygiene. I fought that battle for many years, but they did recommend braces for him.
Honestly, I wish we hadn’t gotten them. His teeth weren’t that bad, and his bite was OK.
However, they pressured him into thinking he needed them, so we proceeded.
He, again wasn’t in a good routine with his oral care. He struggled with all facets of the braces. He didn’t brush well or floss. His gums swelled which I guess can be problematic. Multiple times the doctor said he might have staining around the brackets due to him not taking care of it.
So, I totally recommend going in a good oral routine with your kids before getting braces, so they’re more effective for him.
If you’re looking to get into family routines — come join me in Family Routines where you make your household work for itself. BTW, kids #2 and 3 did much better with oral hygeine.
How long do kids have to wear braces?
The average length of time that kids need to wear braces is between 18 and 24 months. However, it can be anywhere from 8 to 30 months depending on the severity of the case and the type of treatment needed. During your child’s initial evaluation, their orthodontist will be able to tell you how long they’ll need to wear their braces.
What kind of braces are available?
There are several types of braces available to children and adults alike. Traditional metal braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment, but there are other options as well that can make the process more comfortable for your child. Lingual braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign clear aligners are all popular options that offer a more aesthetically pleasing, discreet look. Your orthodontist can help you decide which type of braces is best for your child’s needs.
For us, I worried about her losing the retainers with invisalign at school (taking them in and out), so we opted for the metal braces.
How much do braces cost
The cost of braces can vary depending on several factors, including the type of braces used and the severity of your child’s case. Generally speaking, Invisalign aligners are the most expensive option, while traditional metal braces are the least expensive. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 for your child’s orthodontic treatment.
For us, we used Risas for our braces. Mostly due to the cost. It is just $3,000 for the treatment. We’ve found the doctors and the ortho hygenists to be competent (although the office staff leaves something to be desired at times). They are available in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Texas. This is in no way sponsored, it’s just what our family chose since we do not have dental insurance (we use a Healthshare).
But, if Risas isn’t available near you, consider another discount dental chain. They are out there if you look for them. They tend to advertise less (which keeps their costs down).
Insurance and orthodontia treatment
Many insurance plans offer coverage for orthodontic treatment, so you may be able to save some money on braces. Check with your insurance provider to see what type of coverage they provide and if there are any specific rules or guidelines you have to follow.
While there is no perfect answer to the question of when to get braces for your child, understanding the most common age range for getting braces can help you make a decision. With this information in mind, you can start looking into orthodontists in your area and get started on the path to giving your child straight teeth. Have you considered getting braces for your child? When do you think is the right time?
Come get into a routine with your family with Family Routines:
Or, if you’re not ready for the whole class, come join me in my free practical parenting course:
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