Sunday, November 21, 2010

What age for orthodontics?

My 7-year-old only has two permanent teeth and he is already VERY crowded. I can't imagine what it will be like when he has all his adult teeth. There is just no room. So we already know he will need braces. I was trying to figure out WHEN he will need braces. It seems to be quite the controversy.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. That is probably because some kids may need them that early. For example, kids with a crossbite may be need braces while they still have baby teeth. The controversy comes in when kids who have very common problems-like crowding-get braces before their adult teeth are in.

New research shows that could mean the child will end up with braces for four years instead of two and the parents will pay double for the treatment. There may be no benefit to starting early in these cases. I certainly don't want to pay for braces twice, so we are waiting until his permanent teeth are all in (around 10-years-old) unless our dentists thinks he needs them sooner. Then I will get a second opinion. I can totally see how parents would jump at the chance of getting their kids' braces over sooner and sparing them embarrassment in the tween-teen years. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here's more on the orthodontic dilemma from The New York Daily Times.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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