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Your Kid Needs Braces Sooner Than You Think

by Dr. Christine Coughlin DDS

It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your child’s future. And timing is EVERYTHING.

Braces are proven to powerfully impact your overall happiness and success in life.

And, like most parents, you’re probably wondering: 

Are my kid’s teeth growing in normally? Does my kid need braces? And when?

Are you supposed to wait until all your kid’s permanent teeth come in? Because baby teeth eventually fall out… right?


Is my child too young for braces?

The truth is, your child’s primary (baby) teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth and have a significant impact on your child’s overall development. 

That’s why it’s crucial to have your child evaluated by your orthodontist early enough to detect and treat any problems before it’s too late to fix.

Timing is everything when it comes to braces

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an evaluation with the orthodontist no later than age seven because your orthodontist can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.

This gives your orthodontist the chance to begin treatment as early as necessary for your child to prevent a bigger problem in the future.

Even if your child’s teeth appear fine, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. X-rays are extremely important for this process and allows your orthodontist to spot any underlying issues that the naked eye can’t see. 

Early intervention can prevent more severe problems in the future

In some cases, your orthodontist may find a problem that is imperative to treat early while your child is still growing. Early treatment (aka phase 1), which begins around age 8-11, helps prevent more severe problems in the future and can make treatment later on shorter and less complicated.

Some issues, such as underbites or protruded teeth, can not be fixed (without surgery) after a certain age, once the face and jaws finish growing. 

Give your child the best chance with braces

Your orthodontist’s goal is to provide your child with the best treatment at the most appropriate time for the best possible results.

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to: guide permanent teeth into the right position, correct your child’s jaw growth, correct protruded teeth more easily, increase your child’s confidence, and correct oral habits, such as thumb sucking, that disrupt your child’s oral and facial development. 

Once your child’s phase 1 treatment is complete, we can move onto phase 2 orthodontic treatment as soon as the rest of the adult teeth come in. 


Navigating your child’s teeth and oral development can be confusing. But no need to worry. Your orthodontist will inform you to help you make the best decision for your child.

Make sure to bring your child to see the orthodontist no later than age seven to address any issues that may require early intervention, and give your child the best chance at having a beautiful and healthy smile that will benefit them for the rest of his or her life. 

Don’t miss your child’s best window of opportunity for braces. Give us a call now or Book Now for a FREE Orthodontic Consult for your child today!

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