22 answers

Orthodontist Visit for 7-Year-old?

My son went for his 6 month dental check-up yesterday and while his teeth are still cavity-free, he does have 2 crooked top front teeth AND an underbite. The dentist and hygenist both suggested that he see an orthodontist, but didn't indictate that it was urgent. My question...what can an orthodontist do for a child this age? Does anyone have a child that went for a consultation this early? What happened? Good experience, or bad? I've known forever that my son would need braces some day, but didn't think I'd be considering it at age 7.

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I went to my first ortho appt when I was eight, I had several baby teeth removed because the adult teeth were not coming in where they were supposed to be and therefore not pushing the baby teeth out. I didn't actually get braces until I was 11, but by going in earlier, they were able to try some things that allowed my teeth to correct themselves before the braces.

I would go for a consultation and ask the orthodontist these questions. I started going to the orthodontist when I was 3. That's how bad my teeth were. I am so grateful to my parents that they gave me the gift of straight teeth! BTW, at 3 I got a spacer. I didn't get braces until I was 12. I think they can do a lot of prep work for braces in the younger years....
Good Luck!

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Americans are obsessed with perfect teeth, I told my husband he should have bee an Orthodontist!!!
My son had crooked teeth and they suggested to see an Ortho. He never did,because I believe they should first get all their grown up teeth before you start treatment.
He is 16 years old and has perfect straight teeth.
Of course they tell you, yes you should do this and that, that is their business.
My daughter on the other hand had a crossbite and I started treatment at age 11.
She has braces right now in freshmen year of High school .
Hope that helped a little.

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I find it interesting that they are recommending that children go see the orthodontist so young these days. I have a small mouth and always knew that I would have to have braces in order to straighten my teeth out. But, I never went to the orthodontist until I was about 13 or 14 years old. My dentist pulled my teeth to allow my adult teeth to come in, and I didn't go see an ortho until all my baby teeth were out and it was time to have my braces put on.

I'm 42 now, so I guess I don't know how times have changed, but I've been seeing orthodontic braces on children younger and younger and can't help but wonder if it's good to have braces that young. Shrug. I don't know.

My daughter will have to have braces on at least her top teeth. She's almost 10, and I haven't taken her to see an ortho yet. Her dentist hasn't even suggested it, just let me know that she'll probably need them. Right now, he's monitoring her mouth and teeth and alignment.

My only grave concern with children getting braces so young is the fact that it takes a lot of prevention to make sure their mouths don't end up with a lot of cavities from not brushing and not taking proper care of their teeth while they have the braces on. I have mixed feelings about young kids and braces, I guess.

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Luckily, my Grandpa and Uncle are dentisit and both orthodontists too, so at the age of 3 right after they took away my pacifiers, I got an expander retainer. I had a series of these that moved different parts of my jaw and teeth around. I had a very small mouth and larger sized teeth, plus a cross bite and the damage of having a pacifier in 24/7 for 3 years. From the time I was 3 till 11 I had some type of retainer or expander at all times. Then, at 11, I got traditional braces, I also had the head-gear for a while, the rubberbands from top braces to the bottom, and an expander while I had braces, too!!! I got them off the day before freshman in high school pictures ( helps to have connections). I never got any cavities while having all these items in my mouth, but I was always a good brusher, and we didn't eat alot of sweets at home anyway. I still wear reatiners to bed a few nights a week, btu I have a nice straight set of teeth, and I didn't have to have anything but my wisdom teeth pulled ( that was not till I was 23).

Go - at least get the consultation, so you have an idea what you are in for - and can start planning for the expense! Thank goodness mine was all in the family, because my parents didn't make much and probablyy couldn't have afforded a fraction of what I had done if they had to pay for it.

Good Luck!


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My daughter had really crooked teeth by the age of 7 years old. We took her in to see an orthodontist around her 8th birthday. He suggested braces 6 months later. She had them on for a little over a year and now her teeth are really pretty. However she will need braces again in another several years for her overbite. The braces early basically helped prevent years of work later and her self esteem is much better. She smiles all the time! Orthodontists go both ways on it...it just depends on who you see. Also, for overbite/underbite issues, I would suggest going with an orthodontist that treats the problem without head/neck gear. The little ones hate that stuff. Our new orthodontist can correct the problem without the use of that stuff.

My daughter went to an ortho for the first time at age 8 looking down the road to needing braces. Our ortho and dentist are working together to have some "preventative" work done so she won't have to have braces for too long and not spend so much $$ to have them. She already has had some dental work done (teeth pulled etc) in preparation for the braces. She has 2 missing teeth that they see will never come in. So they are doing some of this work to be able to pull her teeth together instead of having implants which are way more costly than braces. She is now 12 and is looking at finally getting the braces this year. They didn't want to do the braces too early because she would maybe have to have them twice then and you may know how insurance handles that!!
So, you may want to start the process to see if there is anything they can do to already help in the long run. The ortho we go to doesn't charge anything for consults only when the braces begin. I'm that cost is in there somewhere but I'm not paying for each visit so far.
They also are really helpful in figuring the cost already so we could prepare for our Flex benefit.

Good luck!!

Hi S.,

My daughter is 7 and she just started phase 1 of her ortho treatment in Dec. She has an expander (retainer) to make room for her teeth to come in so they aren't crooked. It is not painful for her and very easy to take care of. As for the underbite, I had that and started my ortho treatments as well at the age of 7. My daughter has no problems with it and doesn't mind going since it doesn't hurt. Since Dec 1st (when she got her expander) I have seen a tremendous difference in the two front teeth that were sideways. They now look normal!

I also wanted to comment about the post with the breaking of the jaw comment, my underbite is pretty bad and braces was not able to correct it. I still have a pretty severe underbite and they did say the only way to correct mine is to have that surgery to remove part of the jaw bone and wire it shut so that it heals correctly. Obviously, they say there is no need to do that unless it starts creating problems for me. I've lived with it for 30 years and have no problems with my jaw. Just wanted to let you know.
Good luck with it! Hope this helps!

I would go for a consultation and ask the orthodontist these questions. I started going to the orthodontist when I was 3. That's how bad my teeth were. I am so grateful to my parents that they gave me the gift of straight teeth! BTW, at 3 I got a spacer. I didn't get braces until I was 12. I think they can do a lot of prep work for braces in the younger years....
Good Luck!

I know alot of other Moms have weighed in... I'm not a Mom who has been through the braces situation yet, but I can speak from another perspective. I had braces during my early high school years, and while it seems shocking now, it's almost a rare thing to see kids with braces in high school. It seems like more and more kids are having their braces sooner rather than later. My thoughts on the subject? See if you can get a consult with an orthodontist... He'll thank you in a few years when he has a beautiful smile during the most awkward time in his life - puberty.

I saw you live in Omaha, can I recommend seeing Dr. Heurter's office on 72nd and Mercy? Good guy, weird name.

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