How do I Know if My Child is Ready for Braces?
Many children need treatment, from a medical standpoint, whether it’s to help with jaw growth, to make room for teeth to come in, or to move a tooth out of a traumatic position. But, psychologically and mentally, they’re just not quite ready. We see this often amongst young children.
There’s no good reason why some children are ready and others aren’t. We’ll have some 5 and 6 year olds that need treatment who were referred by their dentists. Usually they have skeletal imbalances needing correction at a young age, and they do just fine with the treatment. We’ll take their pictures, get their impressions, and they may get appliances.
Some older children (ages 11-12) are ready for full treatment, and may just have a few minor issues like teeth crowding or minor bite issues. We’ll recommend full treatment, but Mom and Dad may express concern regarding the psychological aspect of the treatment. They wonder if their children can handle it mentally and handle the responsibility of braces. Many children keep their braces clean, but despite their best efforts, can’t do certain things at certain ages. Even if parents are staying on top of things, sometimes it’s hard to make sure their children are doing what they need to. So, mentally, the kids need to be prepared for not only having braces and tolerating people seeing them with braces, but taking care of them properly.
We saw a boy in 8th grade that needed braces due to overlapping teeth and bite issues. Although his Mom wanted him to have the treatment, he was reluctant and apprehensive about it. If your child is in this situation, how do you know he’s ready? As a parent, I can’t sit there and say there’s a specific age or a magical thing you can do to know he’s ready. Each situation is tailored to each individual. Yet, ask yourself: Does my child take care of things? Is he fairly responsible about other things? Many parents are concerned their children can’t handle the responsibility of having braces or having the Invisalign treatment. Yet, the child drives himself to school every day, does his homework without being told, and is involved in sports requiring him to be on time for practices and games. If your child is doing these things, chances are he’s responsible enough to keep his braces clean.
When it comes to Invisalign, most children receive the treatment when they’re in high school. Many of them drive cars; some of them are in Scouts; and all of them have been responsible for homework. Not to say they’ve done all these things without supervision from parents, but parents will most likely supervise their orthodontic treatments. We found most children who want Invisalign treatments, are responsible enough to wear the trays accordingly (with the help of their parents).
We saw a sophomore who wanted the Invisalign treatment. His Mom was concerned he wasn’t responsible enough to wear the trays because he was slightly autistic with some learning disabilities. I asked her what her son was involved in. She told me he was on an elite-level sports team where he traveled to different states and trained at nearly a junior-national level. I then asked, “What kind of responsibility does that require?” His Mom just glowed as she talked about her son waking up early in the morning to train. When I asked her tell me why he does that, she talked about his love and commitment toward the sport. “Well it looks like this young man would like to go with the Invisalign system, and he’s committed to doing so,” I told her. She said she hadn’t thought about it from that point of view and just assumed he would lose the trays. After telling him about the responsibility associated with the trays, he said he was committed to them just as he was committed to his sport.
Remember: Look at how your child handles current responsibilities to best assess if he’s ready for braces.
Contact Beecroft Orthodontics if you ever feel to go looking for an advice about whether or not your child is ready for braces.
Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr Fredericksburg ,
Virginia Phone: 540-898-2200
Is My Child Ready for Braces?