It’s an exciting time for parents when their child’s teeth start coming in. We love seeing their adorable smile develop from a couple of front teeth to a mouthful of tiny pearly whites. Then, the baby teeth fall out, and the permanent teeth come in.

Is it too early to think about braces for your child? At what age can a child get braces?

Fergus Orthodontics treats patients of all ages, including young children. The American Orthodontics Association recommends that children see an orthodontist by age 7. Why is that? Let us explain!

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Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

Is it necessary for a child to get braces at a young age? It depends on how your child’s mouth and teeth are developing. Children start losing their baby teeth and getting their permanent teeth by ages 6 or 7. For some, it’s easy to see whether the teeth are coming in straight or crooked. For others, it might not be as obvious.

Fergus Orthodontics creates x-rays and digital images of your child’s teeth and jaws. We can see whether your child has enough room in their mouth for teeth to come in properly or whether there might be issues. For example, if your child’s palate (roof of the mouth) is too narrow, the permanent teeth may not have enough room to come in properly. We may see that the permanent teeth are not ready or may come in too soon. 

An early evaluation can outline your child’s dental issues. Then, we can create a plan to address those issues, so they don’t worsen later!

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Early Orthodontic Treatment Pros and Cons

There are plenty of pros to early orthodontic treatment. The biggest is that treating now can prevent worse issues later, including bite problems, jaw pain, headaches, and even digestive issues. 

Early orthodontic treatment could involve a two-phase system. The first phase could involve braces or preparing the mouth better for permanent teeth. A palate expander will widen your child’s upper jaw, allowing the teeth to come in straighter. A tongue crib could keep your child from thrusting their tongue against their teeth, pushing the teeth forward, and could cause speech problems such as a lisp. Or your child may need braces to straighten their teeth now so the rest of the permanent teeth can come in properly. 

Usually, though, braces come in Phase 2 orthodontic treatment. That usually happens once nearly all the permanent teeth are in, usually in their early teens. Their jaws are not completely solid yet, so moving their teeth is easier. But with most permanent teeth in, the final smile will stick around even as the last teeth come in, thanks to retainers.

The cons are that your child may not understand the importance of brushing and flossing well with braces. They may need extra encouragement to maintain good oral hygiene during their treatment. A lack of good oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and cavities, gum disease, and decalcification of their enamel, leaving white spots on their teeth. 

This may be a great time to get your child their first electric toothbrush! Let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste, but make sure it has fluoride and is NOT a whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste won’t be able to whiten the area under the brackets. This will result in having little dark squares on each tooth when the braces are removed. We don’t want that!

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What Should I Expect on My Child’s First Visit?

So what should you expect from your first free consultation with us? We start with the grand tour. We’ll guide you through the steps of our initial examination and take digital photos and x-rays of your child’s mouth. Then we’ll show you any potential dental issues your child may have or may face, and we’ll tell you whether braces treatment would be a good option for your child.

If your child does need braces, we’ll explain the different stages of braces, from diagnosis to treatment to retention. We want you to know exactly what to expect before you sign a thing. Braces are a big investment for your child’s future health, and we want you to be comfortable getting braces or Invisalign treatment with us!

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Braces Treatment in Jonesboro, AR, for Kids

The sooner your child’s dental issues are addressed, the better it will be in the long run, both for your child and your wallet! If you’re concerned about paying for your child’s treatment, rest assured! Fergus Orthodontics offers financing options such as zero-interest, in-house financing, low down payments, and extended payment plans! 

Your child’s oral health is vital to their overall health. If you’re in the Jonesboro, AR, area, schedule an appointment with Fergus Orthodontics by the time your child turns 7 to find out whether braces treatment will be needed for them to have a healthy smile in the future!

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