Dental Cleaning With Braces - What Everyone in Braces Should Know
By Dr. Dustin Coles – Premier Orthodontics
Table of Contents
As a parent, you probably have a lot of questions around braces and baby teeth. Questions like:
Do all baby teeth have to fall out before braces? What is a good age to start braces? Can my child get braces if they still have baby teeth?
In this article we’ll explain, in detail, the best age to get braces and if your child should get braces while still having baby teeth.
Do all baby teeth have to fall out before braces?
For most kids, there is no reason to get braces before all of their baby teeth have fallen out. However, some tooth and bite problems in young children can get worse if left uncorrected. For these specific cases, orthodontists will recommend starting braces before all the baby teeth fall out.
Some of the tooth and bite problems that may need to be treated early before all the baby teeth fall out include:
Besides the above problems, some children just want to feel more confident about their smile. This is also a legitimate reason for starting braces early, even for younger children that still have baby teeth.
Do You Ever Have to Remove Baby Teeth for Braces?
For most kids we can allow them to lose their teeth naturally. In some special cases orthodontists may need to intervene and have some teeth extracted.
One reason why we may have to remove baby teeth for braces is if the teeth are taking much too long, and the child and parents are wanting to get started with orthodontic treatment. Once a child is in high school they are wanting to get their braces on and off as soon as possible. In these instances having any remaining baby teeth extracted will allow the permanent teeth to grow in faster so the child can get their braces started sooner.
Other kids may have permanent teeth growing in the wrong direction. For these kids having their baby teeth extracted may help to facilitate their permanent teeth growing into the correct spot.
Why would you put braces on baby teeth?
For children receiving early orthodontic treatment or Phase I braces treatment, the orthodontist may place braces on their baby teeth in addition to their permanent teeth. This is usually done to use the baby teeth as an anchor for moving the permanent teeth into the correct position.
Since moving the baby teeth into the correct position isn’t necessarily the goal, we can use the baby teeth to help correct tooth and bite problems that exist in the permanent teeth.
Can you get braces with a loose tooth?
If a patient has most of their baby teeth gone, but maybe a few loose baby teeth still hanging around, they can often still get started with the braces process.
If a patient has loose teeth in their back molar area the orthodontist may start with placing braces on the front teeth for the first couple of visits. This allows the front teeth to start aligning. Once the rest of the permanent teeth have grown in, then the other braces can be placed at that time.
What is a good age to start braces?
We recommend that all children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age seven to see if they have any tooth or bite problems that need early intervention. Most kids at age seven will not need braces right away, but it’s good to be proactive and catch these issues early just in case. Better to have a prevention strategy in place than to be caught by surprise.
Most kids will lose their baby teeth by age eleven or twelve, and this is usually a great time to get started with braces. For kids that still have braces and are older than twelve, they can choose to wait until they have all their baby teeth fall out naturally, or they may elect to have the baby teeth extracted so they can get started with braces earlier.
We hope this article answered some of your biggest questions about braces on children who still have baby teeth. Want to learn more about the best age for kids to get started with braces? Watch the video below:
Orthodontist for Kids in Phoenix, Chandler, Maricopa, and Casa Grande
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