Not everyone has to get braces in their lifetime, but many people do at different stages in their lives. The most common time to get braces is during adolescence. This has held true for several decades. Much like a parent’s medical history can be predictive of a child’s medical future (i.e., heredity), a parent’s orthodontic history is one way of predicting if a child will need braces. The article below elaborates more on this subject.
If you had braces, your child probably needs them too
Many children can expect to be outfitted with braces at some point, but parents often don’t know when they should head to an orthodontist for an evaluation. Eung-Kwon Pae, associate professor and chair of the department of orthodontics and pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, said there are a few key indicators for when someone is ready for treatment and what kind of treatment is needed. And, he said, there are now options beyond the metal bands.
When should parents first speak to a dentist or an orthodontist about whether braces may be needed?
When a habit is noted, it’s a good time. Habits most times result in harmful outcomes. For example, a digit-sucking habit (mostly a finger or fingers or rarely toes) causes various troubles such as an open-bite (upper and lower front teeth are not touching, sometimes called under-bites), excessive overjet (abnormally sticking out upper front teeth) and narrow upper jaw if the habit continues longer than four to six months. Orthodontists want to break these kinds of habits as early as possible because it could be very difficult to fix the abnormalities once they are fully expressed. Luckily, most habit-related distortions can be fixed using habit-breakers such as tongue cribs.
When a lack of space for erupting cuspid teeth is noted, it’s the right time. Crowding (irregularity in teeth alignment) in new permanent front teeth may be another indication. At around the time all four front teeth are in the mouth, the arches (dental arches are the two crescent arrangements of teeth, one on each the upper and lower jaw) are often short of space for incoming cuspids. The driving force for the erupting cuspids from both sides pushes front teeth toward the middle. This results in crowding. When you see crowding in front teeth, it is a good time for consulting.