The average age of children who get braces is between nine and 14, though in some cases it is appropriate for younger children to visit Doc Ak. While parents may be worrisome about starting braces early, research suggests that early intervention can prevent greater dental health problems later in life.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 3.7 million children under the age of 17 receive orthodontic treatment each year. You may want to consider early treatment if your child has the following conditions:
- Class I malocclusion. This is a very common condition of crooked teeth or teeth that protrude at abnormal angles. In general, early treatment for Class I malocclusion occurs in two phases, each two years long.
- Class III malocclusion. Known as an underbite, in which the lower jaw is too big or the upper jaw too small.
- Crossbite occurs when the upper and lower jaws are not properly aligned. An orthodontic device called a palatal expander widens the upper jaw, allowing teeth to align properly
- Tooth extraction. For kids with especially full mouths, extracting baby teeth and even permanent premolars can help adult teeth grow in straight.