Q: I was told my daughter should get braces but she is only 7 years old. Is it normal to start with braces that early?
A: Yes, it is perfectly normal to begin with orthodontics at that young age.
Children can begin orthodontic treatment as early as 6 years old. If the child has “crowded teeth,” when these teeth come in they don’t have enough room and are bunched up together. Treating the problem while the child is growing allows us to make use of their growing years in order to create space. This is normally done with oral appliances instead of traditional braces.
The main benefit of beginning this process early is that it may eliminate the need to remove permanent teeth later in order to create space. It also can reduce drastically the amount of time your child has to spend wearing traditional braces (brackets and wires).
I treat a lot of patients suffering from TMJ (jaw joint problems), so I prefer doctors taking a more proactive approach to treating these problems early. This prevents a lot of other problems that could develop as the child grows. Plus, it is a much more conservative and preventive approach to begin this treatment early in the child’s development.
Questions can be sent to Fred Eck, D.D.S. at Marco Dental Care, 950 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 305, Marco Island, or call 389-9400. Web site: marcodentalcare.com. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Detroit Mercy and is licensed by the Florida State Board of Dentistry.