Why seven is the right age to start talking about braces

Every parent wants their child to go through life with a confident smile. Here James Stubbs, principal orthodontist at Weybridge Orthodontics, explains why seven is the right age to start talking about braces and reveals the surprising range of treatment options

My child is only seven years old, is it too soon to be thinking about braces?

No, in fact this is the best time for a child to be assessed by a specialist orthodontist. Between the ages of six and eight, children will get their first adult molars followed by their incisors. Research has shown that early orthodontic treatment can eliminate or reduce the need for later treatment and simplify future treatment, so seeing an orthodontist at this age can be extremely beneficial to a child’s long-term oral health.

What will the orthodontist be looking for during our consultation?

They will look for baby teeth that have been lost too early or too late, thumb sucking and other oral habits, crowded teeth, protruding front teeth, unusual position of teeth or an unusual bite.

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What happens if my child’s teeth are left untreated?

From a clinical point of view, losing baby teeth too early or too late can lead to loss of space and crowding, which can delay other teeth coming through or can be a sign of adult teeth erupting in the wrong position. If thumb sucking is left unchecked, it can affect the bite and position of teeth and increase the risk of damage to the teeth. Crowded teeth, on the other hand, can be difficult to keep clean, resulting in dental caries (holes) and pain.

What about the psychological impact?

From a psychological standpoint, recent research has sadly shown that protruding front teeth can be a source of teasing as well as increasing the risk of damage to the teeth. Having early orthodontic treatment reduces a child’s self-consciousness about the appearance of their teeth and will help them smile more easily and confidently.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

At Weybridge Orthodontics we create digital impressions of children’s teeth, so the old ‘putty and tray’ impressions that children so dislike are a thing of the past. When it comes to braces, the options range from almost invisible removable appliances (such as clear gum shields) and inconspicuous tooth-coloured braces, to fun multi-coloured or traditional metal braces for children who like to stand out from the crowd.

Who will oversea my child’s treatment?

Our orthodontists have spent eight years training at the most prestigious dental schools in the UK to achieve specialist accreditation in an area they are incredibly passionate about. They will treat your child with exceptional care and skill - but don’t just take my word for it! We are very proud of the feedback and reviews Weybridge Orthodontics receives on the NHS Choices website. Here’s what a few or our patients have said:

• “I feel very lucky to have received treatment here”

• “Amazing and real perfectionists”

• “The best orthodontic practice!”

• “Excellent treatment from start to finish.”

• “Outcome is superb”

• “Absolutely incredible service”

• “Service with a smile!”

Weybridge Orthodontics, Roadway House, 35 Monument Hill, Weybridge KT13 8RN 01932 831825; info@weybridgeortho.com; www.weybridgeortho.com