Typically, when people picture braces they immediately conjure up an image of an awkward tween or teenager. But those middle school to high school years might not actually be the most ideal time for the majority of the orthodontic treatment. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, parents should schedule an orthodontic consultation at around age seven.
You see, there is no harm in visiting a dentist too early but there may be some if you visit one too late. From the moment your baby teeth erupt at around six months of age until they fall out to make room for your adult teeth, baby teeth play an essential role in the overall lifetime of your oral health. Today, we’ll dive into how critical the proper development of baby teeth are and how braces for kids can still work effectively even if your child still has their baby teeth.
Why are baby teeth so important?
Baby teeth enable children to eat and speak; however, more importantly, baby teeth create and maintain space for their adult teeth to follow through.
If a child loses their baby teeth prematurely from either trauma or decay, space for the permanent adult teeth may be lost and they may then shift into an incorrect space or fail to erupt (come through the gum). Alternatively, if a child retains their baby teeth for too long, or an adult tooth comes through before a baby tooth falls out, the adult tooth may come through in a displaced position—causing future problems, like crowding and a misaligned bite. That’s why it’s important to regularly bring your kiddos to see a family dentist, so they can monitor the development of their teeth.
When do baby teeth start to fall out?
Everyone normally has 20 baby teeth. The lower front baby teeth normally start to fall out around six years of age closely followed by the upper front teeth. The upper second from the front teeth can fall out between seven and nine years of age. The time frame varies to some extent but it’s important that teeth fall out in the right order, and that a family dentist monitors their progress.
The last baby teeth to fall out are usually the upper second baby molars (fifth tooth from the front) and this usually happens before twelve years of age.
It is important to make sure the upper baby eye teeth (third tooth from the front) have fallen out by about twelve years of age – if they haven’t, it could indicate the adult teeth have become impacted on the roof of the mouth.
Can a child have braces if their baby teeth have not fallen out?
The short answer is yes. If you’re worried about your child’s tooth development, you do not need to wait until all the baby teeth have fallen out to consult a dentist. While there is no required minimum or maximum age for receiving orthodontic treatment, if you have concerns, it is best to see a professional sooner rather than later.
Why would children need braces?
Just like early teens and adults, children may need braces or alternative orthodontic treatment to combat the following issues:
- Crowded or spaced teeth
- Other tooth or jaw problems
These issues can be caused by a variety of things, such as your child’s habits (thumb or finger sucking) or airway restriction. If you are noticing changes in your child’s teeth or you have concerns about their oral health, speak to your family dentist as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with the friendly Smile Fort Worth team.
Your Child’s First Visit At Smile Fort Worth
When you visit Smile Fort Worth for an orthodontic consultation, we focus on the entire lifespan of your kid’s oral development and health. For young children, we look at the progress of the patient’s tooth loss, the size and shape of their jaw, and any potential problems they may encounter in the future. We also take the time to make sure your child feels safe and comfortable—After all, visiting the dentist can be a little daunting for the little ones.
Your dentist will tailor your child’s treatment to their age, daily activities or habits. For example, clear aligner treatment (like, Invisalign) would likely not suit a child given the responsibility placed on the wearer to keep it clean and wear them for 22 hours a day.
If it is too early for treatment, but your practitioner has expressed some concerns regarding their teeth or jaw alignment, you will be provided with a tailored treatment plan. These plans outline potential treatments for your child over their transitional years (when their adult teeth are growing).
Considering Getting Braces For Your Kids? Visit Our Family Dentists In Fort Worth
Ultimately, there is no harm in seeing a dentist too early; however, there is a lot of harm in seeing one too late. Waiting for your child’s adult teeth to appear before seeking out orthodontic treatment can risk aggravating serious oral health issues. By visiting the family dentists at Smile Fort Worth, we can do everything to ensure your child has a straight, healthy smile that will last them from adolescence to adulthood.