Braces for 8 Year Old?

Updated on October 04, 2011
K.E. asks from Boulder, CO
24 answers

Any of you mommas have young kiddos in braces? I'm wondering cause they want to start my 7 year old with a palatial expander and braces within the next 6 months. When I was a kid we always got them so much later - closer to junior high - but I've heard things are changing.

Any thoughts or advice?


What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Not a scam. It helps kids have braces for shorter periods (though yes, it may be split into two periods--it's just silly for the dad referred to in one post to say "I'm not paying for it twice" because he will probably end up paying the same total if he insists on waiting and doing it only once--later, when the palate is harder and the teeth more set).

Expanding the palate while it is still soft enough to move is very wise. If you wait until it has hardened, it is MUCH more difficult and painful to do the whole deal with braces etc. I had braces in junior high/high school and I know that if I'd had them the way my daughter is doing it, in probably two sets with the first ones including a palate expander, my life would have been much easier and my time in braces a whole lot less.

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

My granddaughter, who will be eight next week, just started all that. But then she has inherited ALL the wrong teeth/mouth genes, poor girl, and has already had to have some extractions.

If you're uncertain about it, go ahead and get a second opinion.

I went through my braces business in junior high school, too, and so did my children, but now I know ten-year-olds who are almost *finished* with their teeth-straightening. Changes indeed!

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

We started with one child when she was 8. Palate expander and then braces to move teeth around after that. It was the best thing! It's easier to move teeth when they're young. And if she needs a palate expander, that shows that her jaw is too small.... and the way to fix that back when we were kids was to pull permanent teeth. Our daughter was finished with braces in 8th grade. It was the best thing. If you aren't sure, get a second opinion.

Added: My husband had the same issues as my daughter did, but he had to have 8 permanent teeth pulled way back when. Thank goodness we didn't have to do that with her. Yes there are crooked dentists in the world, but just because they can put braces on kids earlier doesn't mean they're doing something wrong. We were thankful to be able to take care of our daughter this way.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


I would do it fact we did it when my oldest son was 8. It does NOT mean he won't need them again later - however - it has helped him TREMENDOUSLY now!!!

The palate expander now - helps because his head is still growing and it will help during the natural growth period instead of later when it's more "solid"...

GO FOR IT!!! Just go in knowing that it might not be a permanent fix - but will help him to get a healthy mouth NOW.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Get a second opinion if you are uncomfortable. I imagine it depends on the situation. My BIL is our dentist. He is planning on an expander for my son once he gets his 6 year molars, followed by braces. My son has a cross bite that needs to be addressed. He also has drooling and slight speech issues that are attributed to his jaw setting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

My 9 yr old just say an orthodontist this summer and he said he wanted to wait until she had her adult teeth in , because things do change when they come in. He will see her again next year to evaluate again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

When I was growing up, I had braces for 7 years and 8 adult teeth pulled in order to get the remaining teeth the be able to fit in my jaws.
From 5th grade to 11th grade - it was never ending misery.
My son started an expander when he was 9 and has just now finished braces at 12 yrs old.
He has 2 year of middle school and all of high school to enjoy straight teeth and be braces free.
He didn't need any teeth pulled - the expander made sure there was enough room.
And the expander is less painful to use when the bones are still growing.
Get it done early as you can and get it over with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think it depends on what needs to be done. My daughter will need braces but they want to wait because only teeth need to be moved, nothing such as your daughter is going through with the palatial expander. It seems like this and bite corrections are done sooner since it involves growing tissue and bone. This is my understanding so if you have quesitons I'd ask your dentist and orthodontist. They should be able to tell you why and if there are other options.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The medical/dental field, unfortunately, have become as corupt and money hungrey as their cousins (insurance and pharmaceutical industries) and will do anything to get more wealth from anywhere they can.

You right, things are changing but not for the better....Your seven year old will be growing ( a lot in the next few years)...I suggest getting a few opinions before you spend the $$$ it will cost for braces. When my son needed some correction for his teeth, the best, most honest advice I received was from a VERY successful Palo Alto, CA, dentist was to wait until he was 12/13....He's grown now and has a very perfect bite and smile. And, I saved a lot of money.....even though my dental insurance was great at the time and covered 50% of the braces.....That's not happening now.



answers from Minneapolis on

My 9yr old is going to need some dental work, but because he has an underbite that is pretty bad. In September he will get an expander and then a few weeks after that will get braces on the top front 6 teeth to pull his jaw and roof of his mouth out where it should be. He should only need the braces for 6 months, the expander will probably be around that long too, and then he will have a retainer for 6 months after that, then he should be done. his teeth are beautiful and straight, but his underbite needs work.


answers from Chicago on

Nope, not a scam (and I have a good friend who is my dentist as well). Just depends on the kid really.

My older daughter had them when she was in 4th grade. She had a palate expander and then braces.

We probably looked like the idiots Kari F. is complaining about where kids have them early and then get them later in junior high. We did that. She had her palate expander and then braces on just the top front teeth to bring them together (that took about 8 months) and then we waited until she was in 7th grade and had lost all her baby teeth to have braces put on her entire mouth. She was finished with her braces in 8th grade. All done in time to look beautiful for high school.

So before you judge others Kari, perhaps you should consider there is more to the story.



answers from Provo on

My daughter also had to have an expander to expand her palate. Her top teeth hit on the inside of her bottom teeth. Our dentist told me to take her to an orthodontist so they could prevent problems later. It is easier to expand the palate when they are younger because it isn't fused together yet. Once her palate was expanded the orthodontist didn't put braces on her. He said with her expanded palate her teeth would come in better. He said there is no reason to put braces on until she has lost her baby teeth and her permanent teeth are in. With teeth coming in and falling out, her teeth can shift. He waited and then put braces on her when she was older. She had her braces put on the first day of 6th grade. She now has beautiful straight teeth. I was very happy with our orthodontist. He always seemed to want what was best for our daughter and was never in a hurry. He watched her mouth and waited to see if she would need braces. He said many kids have braces when they are too young and their mouths are still changing and then they have to have braces again later. He said to be patient. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

My 7-year-old will have the same thing sometime in the next year. I was a little surprised, but I had the same thing in high school and it sooooooo didn't work that late. I still needed surgery to reduce my bottom jaw and make it fit under my top jaw. I guess the underbite correction using a palate expander is more successful at this young age and results in fewer cases of surgery. In the case of kids like ours, it's not about aligning the teeth, it's about aligning the jaws and those are totally different things. Good luck!


answers from Houston on

No, it's a scam. I have several Dentist friends and has years of dental work as a youth and they have all told me the same thing. It is a way for dentists to make a lot of money. At 7, he could get a retainer and expand to prepare his mouth. If he gets braces in 6 months, he will be wearing them until he is about 12-13, because his mouth will be growing and changing the whole time. If you ask anyone who got braces that young, they usually wore teh braces for about 3 years longer than necessary. That is several years of pain and wasted money that the dentist could have avoided. You can start preparing him now, but I wouldn't do braces until 8th grade or so, then he will only need them a year, maybe 2 max. I would run from any dentist that suggested this.

I had very bad dental problems, I had to have 8 teeth pulled (4 permanent, 4 baby) my adenoids removed and I even had expanders. I went through about 3 or 4 retainers (some permanent, some came while eating). (Started when I was about 7-8), but didn't get braces till 12. When I was a freshman in hs, I got the braces removed and have had perfect teeth ever since.



answers from Eugene on

Our dentist advised us to put our daughter in braces at 8. My husband refused, saying we aren't doing two sets of braces. She is about 2 years advanced with her teeth coming in. She is almost 10 now, we are waiting for one more tooth to pop through-then she will have braces. We feel it too much pain and money for her to have them so young. Do your research-insurance may pay for only one set. The jaw might expand to make room for the teeth, put they might not come in straight-needing a second set.



answers from Denver on

I have 7 children all with some sort of teeth problems (one was my orthodontists all time worst patient). I have one who doesn't have to get braces at all because he had a small removable retainer at age 5 that fixed his problem (his upper front teeth sat on top of his lower front teeth). That cost me about $300 instead of the cost of full braces that I would have had to pay if I'd waited until later. So you can't say its all about the dentist making money. Three of my kids have done the 2 part braces where they start around 3rd or 4th grade and have head-gear to stop hold back the growth of the top jaw so that it will better match the bottom one. Then later they had regular braces to staighten the teeth. They were all done with braces before high school and I did not pay twice. They orthodontist charges the same amount as doing it all at once, just divided it in half basically so that I paid some at the first part and some at the second part. Actually I paid less than I would have if I'd done it later, because prices went up a lot over those years and the part my insurance paid stayed the same. Now one of my younger kids is 11 and I was told to wait until she is 14 by the same orthodontist because she will need an implant which can't be done until age 18 and its a bad idea to leave a space there for a long time. So from the same orthodontist I have had kids start braces at 8, have a retainer at 5 and then no braces, and start at 14. So you really can't say she's just trying to scam me or make extra money off me. I think the treatment plan depends on the kid. You could always get a second opinion if it would make you feel better. I got 3 opininions on my first daughter before she started at age 8 (she was the one with the worst teeth ever) and they all said the same thing. Her problems were largely due to a way too small mouth and a very sunken lower jaw so they had to be corrected while she was growing.


answers from San Antonio on

Our dentist said he wanted to wait on our kids' braces. I agree with him. I think it's ridiculous to put braces on a child when they haven't gotten all their teeth and will still be changing some.

That's just my opinion. What do I know...I never went to med school.



answers from Oklahoma City on

The extender can take much longer to do it's job so the 6 mo. date might be the soonest that it can be done. Some of the kids I was a nanny for had teeth pulled at 8 and braces due to their adult teeth being huge and not having room for more to come in. They all have beautiful smiles now as adults.



answers from Mansfield on

depends on the reason the child needs braces. My 12year old son will need braces because he has mild to moderate crooked teeth...he will get his at about 14(ish) my youngest daughter has an underbite that is causing her bottem front teeth to wear her top teeth down to nubs. She will get braces at around 7 when her adult teeth first start to come in. My middle child (older)daughter will also need braces but hers will probably be later also.
A friend of mines son has had his braces about a year (he is 11 now) and had to have many teeth pulled to get them all to fit in his mouth etc. I think it is possible that the younger they start them the longer the kids will need them. As in my son wont need them as long as my friends son does so he will get his later...they will have them removed at about the same time :)
2nd opinion is always a good option.


answers from Rockford on

I didn't read others responses, but my son JUST got braces on Monday! He had a bad accident involving a swingset falling on his face 5 yrs ago. I went to 3 orthodontists before I made my decision. And they all varied (and you could tell who wanted to make the most $$...that pissed me off!) Anyway, we were told it was ok to wait since he was so young (he was 6). So, now at 11 1/2, I felt he was ready, and they'll be done by highschool...he plays football, baseball, basketball and trumpet, so he is not happy w/ me right now! haha! BUT, if your ortho feels this is medically necessary before any more damage an be done that will take even longer to fix later, you might need to do it now. I would get a 2nd opinion, just in case. And it is nice for them to be DONE w/them by highschool, too! Good luck...I will tell you...the 1st week sucks! LOL!



answers from Washington DC on

My son 10y just got top braces, there was a 6y next to him getting them too. The kid already had 3 silver teeth.

I think for something like an expander, doing it younger is better when the bones are softer.



answers from Salinas on

Toni V is exactly right. I live in the "land of early braces" actually not far from Palo Alto. Every single one of my friends kids who had braces at 7-8 years old had them again in middle school. Now I can't say there are not instances where it's necessary but it's a big trend in the more wealthy areas which leads me to beleive it's profit driven, almost a status symbol.
I'd get a second opinion and remember you have lots of time to do cosmetic corrections, unless there is a real jaw or bite problem I'd wait. and see.


answers from Boston on

Well just a thought.. is it necessary right now or can it wait a little longer?? Most insurance companies only pay for braces once... what happens if later when the molars etc are in will your child need braces again??



answers from Denver on

Do you go to Young Dentistry in Louisville? They suggested the same thing for my 8 year old and I was concerned too. I was worried they are suggesting this for my son as a way to make for money. Glad you asked the question.

Next question: Palate Expander and Braces