Kids & Braces – The Straight Facts

Kids & Braces: The Straight Facts

Currently, nearly five million children and adults in North America are having orthodontic treatment. For many patients, especially children and teens, a healthy beautiful, smile goes beyond good health, it indicates confidence. “Not only can orthodontic treatment improve health and overall appearance, patients often experience a tremendous boost to their self-esteem when they can smile and not be embarrassed by the condition of their teeth,” said Dr. Don Joondeph, an orthodontist in Bellevue, Wash.

But how do you know if your child needs orthodontic treatment? The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) provides answers to this and other frequently asked questions:

Does My Child Need Orthodontic Treatment?

It’s not always easy to tell if your child has an orthodontic problem. However, some signs or habits may indicate the need for an orthodontic examination: early or late loss of baby teeth; difficulty in chewing or biting; mouth breathing; thumb or finger sucking; crowding, misplaced or blocked out teeth; jaws that shift or make sounds; biting the cheek or roof of the mouth; teeth that meet abnormally or not at all; and jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face.

Smiling boy with braces on his teeth

My Child Sees A Dentist For Regular Check-Ups And Cleaning. Why See An Orthodontist, Too?

Orthodontists specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists receive an additional two-to-three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Orthodontists team with your child’s dentist to ensure that your child achieves optimal oral health.

When Should My Child See An Orthodontist?

If any of the problems above are noted by parents, regardless of your child’s age, it is advisable to consult an orthodontist. All children should see an orthodontist no later than age seven for a simple check-up. This quick and painless exam can identify potential problems and ensure that any future treatment is timed appropriately.

Teenage girl with braces

At What Age Should Orthodontics Occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be start as early as seven, but, usually, treatment can be delayed until the primary (baby) molars are being lost. Of course, any age of adult is acceptable for treatment. Some orthopedic (growth) movement should be treated while the patient is growing. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child’s physician.

Consultation and Treatment Analysis

The cost of your orthodontic treatment may vary depending on your individual needs and treatment plan. Our staff will discuss with you the cost of your treatment, and each of your available payment plan options, so that you are able to make the best choice for you and your smile. We will work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget and you will know what to expect before beginning treatment.  Normally, Dr. Larson or Dr. Holland can provide a cost for treatment at your initial exam.

Children's Orthodontics


For over 30 years we’ve been helping make beautiful smiles for our patients in Central Indiana.  Here is what a few have to say about the team at Larson-Holland Orthodontics

“The great thing about this office is you are treated as an individual.”

Staff is friendly and really works with you on scheduling appointments.”

“Larson Orthodontics is a very family-oriented and friendly office!”

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