Can My Child Get Braces with Baby Teeth Still Present?

Can children start orthodontic treatment with baby teeth still present?

Parents often wonder if their child can start orthodontic treatment even if they still have some baby teeth. It’s a common concern, and understanding when and why early intervention might be necessary can help alleviate any worries.

The Right Time for Orthodontic Evaluation

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. At this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, allowing the orthodontist to identify potential issues early. Early evaluation does not always mean immediate treatment, but it does provide the opportunity to monitor the child’s development and determine the best time to start treatment if needed.

  1. Why Start Early?
    Starting orthodontic treatment while some baby teeth are still present, often referred to as Phase I treatment, can be beneficial for several reasons:
  2. Guiding Jaw Growth
    Early treatment can help guide the growth of the jaw to accommodate permanent teeth properly and improve facial symmetry.
  3. Correcting Bite Issues
    Addressing bite problems like crossbites, overbites, or underbites early can prevent more severe issues later on.
  4. Creating Space
    Orthodontists can create space for crowded teeth or reduce the risk of permanent teeth becoming impacted.
  5. Improving Oral Habits
    Phase I treatment can help correct harmful oral habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting, which can affect dental development.

What to Expect in Phase I Treatment

If your orthodontist recommends early treatment, it may involve the use of partial braces, expanders, or other orthodontic appliances. These devices work to address specific issues that, if left untreated, could lead to more complex problems later. The goal is to create a healthier environment for permanent teeth to emerge and to set the stage for a beautiful, functional smile.

Phase I treatment typically lasts about 12-18 months, followed by a period of monitoring where the orthodontist will check the development of permanent teeth. If necessary, a second phase of treatment may be recommended once all or most of the permanent teeth have come in.

Common Concerns About Early Treatment

  • Is it Too Early?
    Parents often worry that starting treatment too early may lead to prolonged treatment times or the need for additional phases. However, Phase I treatment is designed to address specific issues at a time when they are most manageable. This can actually reduce the complexity and duration of treatment needed later.
  • Will It Be Painful?
    Like any orthodontic treatment, there may be some initial discomfort as the teeth and jaw adjust. However, modern orthodontic techniques are designed to be as comfortable as possible. The orthodontist will provide guidance on managing any discomfort, ensuring your child has a positive experience.
  • What About Costs?
    Cost is a valid concern, but early intervention can often prevent more severe and expensive treatments down the road. At Orthospaceship we offer flexible payment plans to make treatment affordable.

Early orthodontic evaluation and treatment can play a crucial role in ensuring your child’s oral health and overall well-being. If your child still has baby teeth but exhibits signs of orthodontic issues, it’s worth consulting with an orthodontist to see if early treatment is appropriate. At OrthoSpaceship, we’re committed to providing personalized care tailored to your child’s unique needs, helping them achieve a healthy and beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to schedule a consultation with our expert team.

Transform your smile.

Schedule a no-obligation free consultation and get your questions answered.