The Controversy Behind Braces for Young Children

Posted on Oct 16, 2014

The Controversy Behind Braces for Young Children

Braces are no longer that awkward rite of passage that solely teenagers have to experience. These days, young childrenĀ as old as seven are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Screening children no later than age seven is essential and we here at HGS Orthodontics can assess the best age for treatment.

Because preadolescent kids do not have self-esteem issues like teenagers do, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) says early treatment could be beneficial. Although the AAO approves of early orthodontic treatment, the issue is somewhat controversial. Experts have critiqued early treatment by claiming that children who get braces at an early age end up having to do another stage of treatment, and can have braces again well into their teenage years even though they started young. It all depends on whatever treatment is necessary to see if early treatment would work for your child.

Kids with an overbite or buck teeth won’t benefit from an earlier treatment. However, if a kid has an underbite where their lower jaw is too large or their upper jaw is tiny then this course of treatment would work well. The largest sector of children who are getting orthodontic treatment are kids with crowded or crooked teeth. Early treatment is ideal for this group as well, but they will undergo another stage of treatment later, totaling four years.

Most orthodontic treatment starts at age 9 and goes up to age 14, and the AAO says most orthodontic treatment lasts between one to three years – two years being the average. If you think your child may need braces, feel free to make an appointment at HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam and we will be happy to talk to you about it today.