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The Best Time for Braces

Dr. Mark Coreil, DDS

Dr. Mark Coreil, DDS

Dr. Mark Coreil, DDS is a Board Certified orthodontist. He is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Orthodontics at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry.

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The Best Time For Braces

The best time for your child’s braces depends on the severity of the problem. Severe problems benefit from early intervention and this early start is much more comfortable for the child, especially when expansion is needed.  Uncomplicated treatment can be delayed until more permanent teeth are present. Basically, the answer to knowing the best time for braces lies in knowing how severe the problem is and this can only be done with an early evaluation at 5 years of age.

Why Age 5?

Most orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists recommended that children be evaluated at 7 years of age. In my opinion, this is too late because many steps can be taken to improve the orthodontic outcome for your child starting as early as 5 years of age. The need for expansion and other types of bite correction is more comfortable and can be more effective before 7 years of age.

What if my child does not have a severe problem?

At the 5 year evaluation, we may conclude that there is not a significant bite problem or crowding problem. In this situation, your child would just be monitored until the most convenient and effective time for treatment. Often the first phase of treatment for moderate problems begins at 8 years old.

Is it ever too late to have orthodontic treatment?

It is never too late for you or your children to undergo orthodontic treatment. Even if your dentist has not recommended an orthodontic consultation, you should still schedule one for you and your child. This will allow the orthodontic specialist
to determine if there is a need and what steps would benefit both of you. The best time for orthodontic treatment depends on many factors and the best first step is to get an orthodontic consultation at 5 years of age. It is never too late for orthodontic treatment and you do not need a referral to schedule a consultation with an orthodontic specialist.

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