Orthodontist Consultation for 8 Yr Old

Updated on March 23, 2010
L.R. asks from Palestine, TX
26 answers

My 8 yr old son has lost several baby teeth and is in the process of having adult teeth grow in. His mouth is crowded and there doesn't seem to be much room for the new ones trying to come in. My son's dentist suggested we visit an orthodontist to see if he suggests pulling some baby teeth or putting brackets on the front two teeth to pull them together to make more room. There is only 1 orthdontist in our small town and I haven't heard rave reviews about him. My dentist says he's great and sends clients to him all the time. The ortho will then let me know if my dentist should pull any teeth. I called another ortho in another town and they said they only do consults for 12 yr olds ready to get braces. Has anyone been to an ortho for young children to do this kind of advance planning? I always thought you just let the teeth come in however and then deal with it when it's time for braces. Any thoughts?

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

My 10 yr old daughter uses Dr Jenson ###-###-#### in McKinney. The staff is great, he is very professional and patient. Dr Jenson always takes extra time to answer all my questions...and I usually have a lot for him (why are you doing that instead of this? what is this for? etc).
When her wire broke off her braces they got her in the same day. I would recoment them 100%
K. Wartell

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M.J.

answers from Dallas on

I worked as an ortho assistant for 13 years. My first thoughts are age 8 is a great age to get "started" in ortho. You need to see a board certified orthodontist. Sometimes 8 year olds may need more room in their mouth (the top arch of teeth) and they may need an appliance called an expander, or RPE. This will expand the palate and give more room. Please don't have any permanent teeth pulled before consulting with a board certified orthodontist! I realize you live in Palestine. I worked with Dr. Alexander in Arlington Texas who is a wonderful doctor and person. I know this is probably a long drive but we had patients that would drive from Houston, Oklahoma, Midland....etc to come to him for treatment. He is that good! If that is not an option I would be willing to ask him (to help you) for a friend he may know closer to you who will give you the same type of treatment! Let me know if I can help you with info.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

L.,
What you're talking about is "Phase I" orthodontics. This is where they try to address issues prior to all adult teeth growing in. Sometimes, kids will need to have braces once all their permanent teeth come in and that's called "Phase II." The American Association of Orthodontics has a tool on their website that will let you look up orthos by zip code. http://www.braces.org/FindAnOrthodontist/index.cfm

I would definitely get a second opinion - the second doctor we consulted was much less expensive than the first and I felt his plan was more personalized for my son, instead of a one size fits all approach.

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am a dental hygienist that works for a regular dentist and we refer out to several orthodontists. Earlier planning is much better because if he is having crowding issues, then they can do expanders and other things to help maintain space and that means hopefully he won't have to have permanent teeth pulled. I work in Corinth but refer to orthodontists in the Denton and Lewisville area as well. Let me know if you would like any suggestions since I am not sure where you live. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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V.A.

answers from Dallas on

You didn't mention what town you live in. That might help with a location. Later

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E.B.

answers from Dallas on

As a mom of two braces-wearing kids, I would say get the consultation. If anything they say sounds weird, get a second opinion. If you have to drive to a different town to do that, do it. My son had truly awful teeth (I mean BAD), and got braces very young to reign those two front teeth back in his face. He got the "first phase" off and had another whole round for 4 years. He is now 16 and has a BEAUTIFUL smile and no matter what we had to do to make it happen was worth it. My daughter's teeth didn't look nearly as bad as his to me, but she has gone through the same thing and has issues that can't be seen on the outside (with crowding issues, etc.), so it's a good thing we had her looked at early or she actually could have damaged adult teeth. It won't hurt to get the consultation and/or a second opinion, you will never be sorry that you are too informed. Just my .02!

Good luck!

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

I don't think 8 is too young for an orthodontic consultation. Our orhtodontist is Dr. Bishop in Bedford. He suggests orthodontic screenings as young as age 7, so that he can plan out what is best for each child. My son had braces put on his front 4 teeth when he was about 8 or 9 to help make room for all of his teeth. This prevented him from having to have any teeth pulled at all when it came time for his full set of braces. Dr. Bishop and his staff are wonderful. You can learn more about him at www.bishoporthodontics.com.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

L.,

I work for an Orthodontist in Allen, I am not sure where you live, but I may be able to refer you to someone close to your area if you are interested. It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontics that children be seen by age 7 for their first consult, not necessarily treated but seen to watch for growth and development. Orthodontist do recommend that some primary teeth be extracted if there is to much crowding. It is ok to seek the opinion of several orthodontist if you choose. Consultations are complimentary and you need to be educated on your childs needs, so if you are not familiar with this field be sure and get a few opinions. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. I have been in this field for almost 9 years. Good luck!

A.

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R.F.

answers from Dallas on

My younger son had to have 4 baby teeth removed for orthodontia, as well as 4 permanent teeth later. If possible, please find a good oral surgeon to have the teeth removed. An oral surgeon can do the job with less trauma to the mouth and the child. In my experience, 8 years old was not too young to begin. This same child is now 18 and we are happy with the job our orthodontist did in conjunction with our oral surgeon. I believe the pre-orthodontic work that was done made the whole orthodontia experience better.

I just re-read your post. My older son had brackets put on just his front teeth around 8 years of age to bring one back into alignment -- it was sticking almost straight out. We did this for about 6 months and when it was time to put the full set of braces on, this trouble area was already finished.

As you can now tell, I'm a huge proponent of preemptive
work.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

I am not sure what town you are in, but if at all possible please find a good orthodontist in a larger town. My husband had 8 teeth pulled (in one day) as a child to "make room" in his mouth. This was and still is a bad plan. For him he still has problems and will have to soon seek adult orthodontic work to fix some of his problems.

We have 4 kids and my two oldest ones have seen an orthodontist since the age of 7. There are many plans of action that can be taken to avoid pulling teeth. One is a pallet expander. It is a device put in the mouth that makes the pallet wider thus creating room. Now is the time to have this done as once they get too old you will loose this option.

My oldest is 12 and is now in braces and we have not had to pull any teeth. I know that even with expansion there are cases where you may still have to pull teeth, but the orthodontists that we have seen say that the expansion will still help limit the number teeth to be pulled.

We live in McKinney and I am very happy with our orthodontist. Dr. Packard and his office are great with the kids and great on your budget as well. They will start (and recommend) seeing children by age 7 for their orthodontic evaluation.

Dr. Packard is also great because he does not rush to perform work that is unnecessary or that will have to be repeated. Not all children need braces before the age of 12 but many orthodontists recommend two rounds of braces over time. In all of my children's case we have chosen the pallet expander and then once we see how much room is created we make the next decision. He gives a very thorough screening and gives you all the information you need to make an informed decision without any pressure.

I hope this helps, go with your gut and do not let the doctors pull any teeth if you are not 100% comfortable with it.

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J.P.

answers from Wichita Falls on

My niece is 7 and her teeth are soooo bad and her mouth is soooo overcrowded already. She had to see the orthodontist and he said that had they waited it would have been so much harder to fix. She has a mouthpiece right now that is helping to stretch something :) It will be a long process to correct her teeth and mouth problems. Thank God my sister insisted on them seeing her now and not later. I would most definitely get him and to be seen.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

My younger son had that same problem and I think while it's way too soon for them to be doing anything , it is helpful to get the opinion of a good orthodontist. Your son's mouth does have time to grow and kids teeth can move far more easily than those of an adult or older teen-and right now all they can really do is guess what might happen over the next 2-4 years. I would recommend you travel if you have to for a consultation - most will do that free or for a nominal charge. My younger son did end up needing some teeth pulled, so it's also likely very, very helpful to find a good oral surgeon to also do a consultation. BUt, please try to get them to give you any X-rays to minimize the x-rays that all the doctors will need to do.

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V.D.

answers from Dallas on

L.,
It's been 16 years ago, but I was an orthodontist assistant. I remember there being different phases. Two or three phases- not just braces first. Younger kids were in phase I to prepare room for the adult teeth. Call around and ask questions. You have nothing to loose if you ask. Hope this helps.

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

Not too young! My son saw his ortho at 7. He had a lot of crowding, and they installed an expander on the roof of his mouth. What a huge difference! I am SO glad we had the expander when he was young. After that, they put four brackets on his front 4 teeth to straighten. Although he probably could have waited for the braces, I will never regret the expander to correct the overcrowding. No teeth were ever pulled. The older they get, the more difficult it is to correct the overcrowding.

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

Where do you live? I can probably give you some names for a consult. It's usually the norm to have an orthodontic visit for crowding between ages 8-10. Most orthodontists will do this for free.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

When my dd was 8 we went to an ortho for her. Her two front teeth had a rather large gap. We found out that the gap is caused from her other two teeth coming in in the wrong direction. Think of them pointing towards the roots of the two front teeth. Had we not taken her to the ortho at the time we did she would have had surgery to correct the issue. As it is she has worn brackets for 2 years and won't need surgery. It was worth it for us to go find an ortho who would work with the kids. We use Dr Ozier in Frisco.

PS - we homeschool too.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi L.,

I took my 8 year old son to the ortho who did my braces a few years ago for a free consult. It is part of the service they offer. While he didn't see any immediate need for treatment, he recommended we check back a few times between now and age 12, when treatment will most likely begin. If you're not comfortable with the ortho in your town, I would definitely look for another even though farther away.

Good luck!

M.

P.S. I am building a team of 5 financially free champions over the next 2-5 years. Want to be one of them? Email me through Mamasource if you are ready for change!

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

Eight is definitely not too young for consultation. My middle daughter had braces on her top teeth (just the front 4) for about a year . . . she got them removed just before her 10th birthday. She only had them to pull the front teeth together to make room for the other teeth. They look great! Now she wears a clear retainer (sort of like Invisalign) to help keep the teeth aligned while we're still waiting for her to lose her final two baby teeth.

She will still need braces on her bottom teeth which are slightly crooked but her ortho says that can wait for a "normal" schedule . . . when she's about 11 or 12.

You don't mention where your small town is. Our ortho is Dr. Lugo at North Texas Orthodontics Associates, http://ntoabraces4.reachlocal.net/Home/tabid/100/Default..... They have several office locations -- we go to McKinney. Consultations are free.

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P.T.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter had problems with teeth crowding and crooked when she was younger. We were referred to a great ortho in Arlington, Clay Ellis. He told us about options to either start then (she was 9) or waiting until all her permanent teeth were in. He said she would have about the same time in braces. She chose to get started then so she would be out of the braces while younger. She ended up wearing them for about 4 years. Now, at 14, she is glad to be finished. Good luck with you decision.

L.P.

answers from Tyler on

My oldest began with her orthodontist at age 9 with a palatal expander. Her xrays showed she would have tremendous crowding when her permanent teeth began to emerge, so the expander helped her mouth make some room for those teeth. It was amazing the difference it made! She was slow to lose her baby teeth, so she is now 14 and just now into braces (would've needed them regardless of early intervention, but now she won't have to wear the braces nearly as long as she would have without the expander!)

I recommend looking for a reputable orthodontist within a reasonable driving distance. Once your child is in braces, you would be surprised how seldom they have to visit the orthodonist. You should not feel rushed, scared or nervous about the finances. Good luck!

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

Like most of the advice you have received, it's not too early to have your son checked by an ortho. Remember though, your son's mouth is still growing but the teeth coming in are "adult" size. When my son first started getting his adult teeth, they were everywhere, but as he grew they adjusted. He did end up getting braces later. My daughter was a little different, she needed an expander to start off with because the roof of her mouth was so narrow. Nobody had to have any teeth pulled. Our ortho told us that is not near as common to do as it used to be. Of course, I'm sure there are exceptions. Just don't rush into yanking stuff out too early.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Both of my sons had consultations b4 they were 12. The ortho liked to see them, start a chart, and maybe even take early Xrays. There was no charge for all of this. My older son got the braces when he was 12, because the proper teeth had come out/in and we could start. My 2nd son is 12 and we are still waiting.

There are 2 main orthos in our burb. One is super aggressive, pulling teeth and breaking jaw bones. The other is more of a wait-til-it's-time kind of guy. I opted for the laid back guy. He seemed less like he was trying to lock in my business. -- But bottom line, is that you should definitely get a 2nd opinion.

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A.L.

answers from Rockford on

I can offer you great savings on dental costs. My sister in law saved over $2000 on the cost of braces for her son. Please visit http://mybenefitsplus.com/alucas or email me at [email protected]____.com We are also looking for people to help us spread the word if you know anyone who might be interested in working from home.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

Dr. Shae Ochoa is out your way. She is wonderful. She used to work in my office in Frisco, but she wanted a smaller town. She will take great care of you and your family.

Good luck- Dr. J. Wise- Wise Orthodontics

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

This sounds very suspicious to me. My daughter had braces at 8, but ALL of her adult teeth were already in. When I took my son in at about the same age, the ortho said to WAIT until all his adult teeth were in. To be sure, it may be worth it to make a trip to into town for a second opinion. You are right to be skeptical. Good luck with the decision. We go to Doug Crosby in Richardson.

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

According to the website of this GREAT orthodonist I know:

It's best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth.
Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.

If I were you, I'd find an orthodontist who is willing to check out your son.

If you want to check out the doc I mentioned, you can go to:
www.smilesbydrg.com

he has 3 different locations :)
the doc i mentioned is Dr. Jeffrey S. Genecov

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