From an early age, we keep close tabs on our children’s growth and development and their teeth are certainly a big part of those milestones we mark, celebrate, and hold dear. You probably remember (or try to forget!) those sleepless nights when your babies cut their first teeth. You’ll never forget the face your kids made the morning after their first visit from the tooth fairy. And soon comes that special day you’ll take a picture of your child showing off their new smile – with braces! As pediatric dentists, we love celebrating these milestones alongside you.
When babies all too quickly become toddlers and their teeth start coming in, one of the most popular questions we get asked is whether a child will need braces. Parents are keenly aware and are often wondering by the time their baby is just one, if braces are in their future. And rightfully so, braces are a significant cost that families want to be prepared for.
Parents know better than anyone, every child is unique and will transition at their own pace. This also holds true for their teeth. Some children will lose their first tooth at five, others may not even get a loose tooth until seven, sometimes later! Whether a child will need braces depends entirely on their individual development.
Orthodontists generally want to see a child for their initial orthodontic consultation by age seven. If your child is developing an under bite and there is a strong family history of this type of growth pattern, they will see children earlier. At the other end of the spectrum, there are kids who may not need to see an orthodontist until nine or ten.
The best way to stay on top of your child’s dental development is to visit your pediatric dentist regularly. They will help guide and estimate the right timing for getting your child to the orthodontist at stage most appropriate for them.
Dr. Melissa McCool is a proud mom of a 7-year-old and a pediatric dentist at The Smile Shop.