If you are a parent in Modesto, and you have wondered, “What age can someone get braces,” the answer is between six and seven years old. However, that does not mean that all children seen by an orthodontist in Modesto at that age need braces. The current recommendation is that all children see an orthodontist for an initial evaluation by their seventh birthday. Scheduling an early evaluation with an orthodontist in Modesto will allow them to assess your child’s oral development and determine the most appropriate treatment, if necessary, to ensure a healthy and beautiful smile as they grow

What Age Can Someone Get Braces?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), all children should be evaluated by an orthodontist no later than their seventh birthday. Although not all children at this age will need immediate orthodontic treatment, the reasoning behind the recommendation is sound.

Children do a majority of their growing between the ages of 6 and 10. To take advantage of this natural growth, when necessary, seeing an orthodontist at a younger age is easier on the child. Most of a child’s primary (baby) teeth have fallen out at seven. Many of their adult teeth have begun descending or are poised to erupt.

By reviewing X-rays, an orthodontist can predict pending orthodontic problems. For instance, if a child has a jaw that is too small or narrow for adult teeth, corrections can be scheduled to use the child’s natural growth patterns. Early treatment in these cases can prevent problems from developing in the future.

If the initial examination shows that your child’s alignment and growth are good, the child may be placed in a monitoring program. Monitoring programs allow the doctor to keep an eye on developing issues and correct them before they progress.

What is Phase 1 Early Treatment?

In cases where early intervention is necessary, it is called Phase 1 Treatment or Early Treatment. The effectiveness of Phase 1 Treatment relies on the child’s natural growth. Early treatment is less traumatic on children and can often fix problems that, left untended, may require surgery at a later date.

Early treatment offers the opportunity to:

  • Lower trauma risk to protruding front teeth
  • Correct poor oral habits
  • Guide jaw growth
  • Improve facial symmetry
  • Guide tooth eruption

Having your child evaluated by an orthodontist at an early age improves their chances of having a healthy and beautiful smile. This gives children needing early intervention a head start on overall health through their teens.

Problems That Require Early Intervention

In most cases, younger children will not require Phase 1 Treatment. Some of the cases that might require treatment include:

  • Small maxillary arch (palate)
  • Lips not meeting
  • Adult teeth not fully erupting
  • Improper jaw alignment, such as underbite
  • Heavy snoring at an early age
  • Tooth grinding (Bruxism)
  • Some speech problems

Using orthodontic appliances such as a palatal expander, the doctor can guide the growth of a young jaw to increase space to allow adult teeth to erupt correctly. This may also reduce the time the child will need to wear braces during Phase 2 Treatment.

The primary goal of early treatment is to correct problems that would be more complex to correct later and to make later treatment easier on your child.

What is an Orthodontic Monitoring Program?

When children do not require early intervention, most orthodontists offer a monitoring program. This allows the doctor to perform routine checkups periodically. Reviewing annual X-rays and monitoring changes as a child grows can give the doctor warning of pending problems.

At Pezoldt Orthodontics, children are seen every six months for a review checkup while in the monitoring program. The program also allows children to get accustomed to the doctor, staff, and office, making later treatment more comfortable.

What is Phase 2 Treatment?

Phase 2 Treatment is the phase of orthodontic treatment that generally involves teens and braces. Although people can undergo Phase 2 Treatment at any age, most begin between the ages of 10 and 14, depending on their growth pattern.

Braces or Invisalign® can correct alignment problems from minor to complex. As you know, braces involve brackets and wires, while Invisalign uses nearly invisible tray aligners. There are many options when discussing orthodontic treatment for children, teens, and adults.

What Types of Braces Are Available for Children and Teens?

Braces work using wires and brackets to create tension that transforms into the necessary force to accomplish tooth movement. In short, braces pull teeth into alignment.

Invisalign® uses gentle but constant pressure to create the force to move teeth. Rather than pulling teeth, Invisalign pushes teeth into alignment.

The different types of braces available are:

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Clear ceramic braces
  • Invisalign® (including Invisalign First® and Invisalign Teen®)

When selecting braces for your child, the cost is often one of the factors with a bearing on the final decision. You will be happy to note that although traditional braces are slightly less than clear braces and Invisalign®, pricing models for all three are comparable.

Dr. Brad Pezoldt understands family budgeting needs and works to keep all treatment plans affordable. That begins with a Complimentary Consultation (valued at $249!) for your first visit.

Preparing Your Child for an Orthodontist Appointment

If your child has been receiving regular dental checkups, visiting the orthodontist should be no big deal. If not, however, there are some steps you can take to help them adjust to the new setting.

First, explain to your child what an orthodontist does. This shouldn’t be highly technical. The basic description of an orthodontist is that they are a doctor who ensures that our teeth and jaws work great together to keep us healthier. That’s the 6- to 7-year-old version.

Second, explain that X-rays help the orthodontist see the bone structure and adult teeth ready to drop. Let them know it is a picture that looks inside their body but doesn’t hurt.

Third, explain that the doctor will need to look into their mouth and possibly touch their teeth. This can be uncomfortable for some children. Warning them helps them understand what will be happening during the appointment.


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Anxiety is normal. Dr. Pezoldt will do his best to help your child overcome any anxiety they may be feeling. Both offices are friendly, comfortable, and filled with compassionate and caring staff.

Schedule Your Child for an Exam Today

If you have been wondering what age can someone get braces, we hope we have answered your question. If your child needs an initial exam, please schedule a visit with Pezoldt Orthodontics. The Complimentary Assessment includes digital X-rays and a complete smile analysis. You can fill out the online form to begin right now.

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