Many of us remember having braces as a child or teenager – the awkward smiles, the “metal mouth” comments, the diet restrictions…but also the glorious day when the braces were removed and you got to see a set of straight, shiny teeth!
You may have kids of your own now, though, and you’re starting to consider the options for your own family. As you may know, braces aren’t just for making your smile prettier. They can ward off a host of expensive dental problems later in life caused by misaligned teeth and jaws.
Your Child and Braces
One of our readers asked us how old a child should be before getting braces, and it’s actually a pretty common question. Our Mom’s Guide to Caring for Little Teeth talks about when to start considering braces for your kids:
Precisely when your child should see a specialist about braces depends on the individual situation. However, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, most children should see an orthodontist by the time they are 7 years old. This is because early intervention often makes treatment much easier. In some cases, an orthodontist can use a treatment strategy on a younger child that would be impossible on an older one whose jaw and facial growth has been completed. You don’t need to wait until all of your child’s permanent teeth have come in.
Early orthodontic intervention is especially helpful if your child displays any of these tendencies:
- Late or early loss of baby teeth
- Chewing or biting problems
- Late thumb sucking
- Breathing through the mouth
- Misaligned or crowded teeth
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Significant overbite or underbite
However, early treatment may also require minor follow-up treatment several years later if the mouth shifted during growth.
Cost for Braces
Braces typically cost anywhere from $3,000-$7,000, depending on where you live and what options are available. Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, but dental insurance for braces can help cut the cost.
Learn how to save 15-20% on braces and 15-60% on your other dental work with a dental savings plan from 1Dental.com.