A.P. asks from Austin, TX on May 03, 2008
When Did You Start the Orthodontics Process with Your Kids?
Our dentist has said we need to start the orthodontics process with our 7yo. This feels awfully young to me. I remember hearing vague murmurings in the past that if you do it too early, then it doesn't always work so well. She does/will need something like this, and I think most, if not all of her adult teeth are in. But I'd so appreciate anyone else's story to weigh it against. What has been your experience? This just seems so young.
Thanks for any thoughts.
So What Happened?™
Thank you all so much for your sharing your experiences. It's not as much that I don't trust the dentist as I have all this hanging in my head from 30 years ago when I kept hearing how bad it was to do orthodontic stuff early. So I'm so glad to hear from some of you who have actually benefitted from having it this young. Thanks for giving me your perspectives!
C.G. answers from Corpus Christi on May 05, 2008
While this is not with my kids, it happened to me.... an orthodontist was sooo eager to put braces on me before all my teeth had really fallen out and had time to adjust. My mom went for a second opinion and the new ortho told us to wait and see... it was what we were wanting to hear.... but had he said braces, we might have done that... needless to say, I never have worn braces and my teeth are straight. Don't forget, dentistry is a business. They are there to make money. I say wait... she might not even need them and most kids wear braces in high school, not elementary school!
N.S. answers from Houston on May 05, 2008
My grandson has an overbite, and the dentist said when his back molars finish coming in, he should start braces. he's 6 and a half, so i guess for some conditions, earlier is better.
K.W. answers from College Station on May 05, 2008
I can't wait to read the responses...I too am having this issue with my 8 year old daughter. She was a thumbsucker.
M.G. answers from Austin on May 04, 2008
I think it depends on what needs to be done. If your child has major orthodontic issues (ie, difficulty chewing or speaking), then now might not be too early to start. However, if it is strictly cosmetic, and the problems aren't severe, I would do a little research on my own, perhaps at least see what the orthodontist has to say, and go from there.
You also need to take into account the level of responsibility your child possesses. I got braces at 12 and wore them for a year and a half, and I've always been a fanatic about my teeth, so they are still nice and white, and mostly straight (darn wisdom teeth!). But my daughter, who is 10, is not even close to ready to handle the responsibility, and I'm hoping it comes sooner rather than later because she is going to need braces also, and need them worse than I did. Since she does not really do too good of a job taking care of her teeth on her own, I would be very reluctant to get braces for her because I'm afraid her teeth will stain, or get cavities, or both. But your child may be fully capable of taking care of her teeth herself. Each child is different.
I will also say that I would be VERY surprised if your daughter's adult teeth are all in. Most kids get a set of molars around 12, and your daughter would be a rare case if she already had them. A (reputable) dentist or orthodontist would be able to tell you better than I could.
L.C. answers from San Antonio on May 04, 2008
Definitely get several opinions! My 20 year old had braces for 18 months at the age of 12. I noticed as he grew his teeth had done some shifting; but not to the point he needs braces again. My youngest, was always told he needed braces and teeth pulled because he has "too many teeth" in his mouth and buckling. I waited. He was not ready (neither was my pocketbook). Braces require maintenance and maturity. My son used to grind his teeth - that would wear all that expensive dental work away. It requires diligence in cleaning and flossing; or they will end up with gum disease. If not maintained due to improper care or eating foods that damage dental work; it could be costly and unnecessarily extend the length of time they need them. Get at least 3 opinions from Orthodontists. See if there are alternative options for in the meantime (we did spacers for a while). Good luck....
D.C. answers from Houston on May 07, 2008
My son just turned 14 and just now got braces. I think 7 is WAY too young! Reason being, at 14 my son has not lost all his baby teeth yet and has a few teeth that have just cut his gum. The orthodontist has allotted extra time for these teeth to come in and the 2 others to fall out. He's had the braces about 2 weeks and has already broken a bracket. My orthodontist allows 20 free brackets before charging separately for them, which the insurance will not pay for. If she gets braces now, she'll have them for 6 or 7 years!!! Please don't put that baby thru that!! Find another orthodontist!!!!
M.W. answers from San Antonio on May 04, 2008
Our Dentist, also a friend of ours....suggested our daughter have braces about when she was about 9...I thought then that it was too young...but we had them put on....Several yrs later...he said she needed them again....this time we could not afford it and never had the second procedure done. She is an adult today(27), has never had them done the second time....and she has beautiful teeth and no other dentist has ever said she needed braces. Also our original dentist, has a son a yr younger than our daughter, and he choose to wait with having Ryan wear braces. I do believe having the procedure too early only puts money in the ortodontists pocket. I find it very hard to trust dentists bec they can tell you anything and we usually don't have any way to really know whether they are telling us the truth. I firmly believe that some dentist love to put in crowns for the cost to them.... I have three and he wanted to put on a fourth before we moved and I said let's wait. Two yrs later my new dentist filled the spot the original dentist was wanting a crown and that was 3 yrs ago and it has not given me any problems since.
V.L. answers from Houston on May 04, 2008
I have not had to start yet, but me personally was around age 8. I went there because my dad had TMJ, and it can be passed on. It turned out I needed other types of work that is best to be done at a young age. They needed to redo my jaw and alignment with appliances. I did this for years, and as a result ended up with braces at around age 12 for only 9 months! My teeth are still perfect and it has been almost 15 years since I had them fixed. Just make sure you find a very good ortho. DH had braces for years and throughout high school. When we met he told me he just had his braces off 2 years earlier while a senior in high school. His teeth were HORRIBLE! As soon as we married some years later I made him go to my guy and get braces again. They are perfect now! Gourgeus teeth! I would go and at least get x-rays done to see what you are up against. Just because you get that done does not mean that you have to put them in braces right away(you are in control). You would be glad if the x-rays showed some sort of jaw problem that needs a long time to be fixed. That way your child does not have to go through those rough high school years as a metal mouth!
J.S. answers from Austin on May 05, 2008
My son is 10 and we just started the ortho process. Our orthodontist is wonderful and explained that for girls, this kind of work is usually started earlier due to the fact that they grow faster than boys. My son still has some of his baby teeth. I still thought 10 was early however, we are hoping to prevent having to reset his jaw when he gets older. I would do some research on line before starting this extremely expensive and what feels to be never ending process.
P.H. answers from Houston on May 04, 2008
I am really not sure if your Ortho. is correct or not, but I did want to let you know of my experiance.
We put braces on our son when he was 11 years old, because his teeth were crowding. The problem was his ability to properly brush was not very good, so after 6 months we had to have them taken off, because since he was not brushing well around the wires, the pads on the teeth caused very white marks where they were and more plague around all the spots he wasn't getting to.
I'm not saying, don't do it. I am just warning you that making sure they are brushing very, very well will have to be one of your top priorities, otherwise braces will be doing more harm than good.
Hope this helped a little. God Bless!!!
S.G. answers from Houston on May 04, 2008
*starting* the orthod. process at 7 does not mean braces.....braces usually come much later. It really depends on the orthodontist and how they want to do things. I talked with 4 orthodontists and lots of friends with kids in braces before making a decision. We have 5 in the orthodontics process....2 in braces, one in a space maintainer, and the final 2 have each had a couple of teeth pulled to allow permanent teeth room so not as much will be required when the time comes for braces.
I would also look for a conservative orthodontist that looks to the future of their bone development and facial structure rather than an orthod. that puts braces on at a young age and then puts them on again (and again) as the child gets older. Our daughter has two friends that have had their braces on and off THREE times.
If you are in the I-10/DairyAshford area in Houston I can give you the name of the orthod. we see if you want.