Braces for Teens and Kids - St. Louis Orthodontist
As children and teenagers go through continuous growth and transformation, their teeth and jaws also undergo significant changes. This growth process typically continues until their late teens. It is during these crucial developmental stages that it becomes particularly advantageous to assess the alignment and positioning of their teeth and jaws. By addressing problems such as improper bites, misaligned teeth, and related oral health issues, we can greatly impact their future adult lives. At practiceName in St. Louis, drName is prepared to assist young individuals with orthodontic treatments before their growth is fully finished.

Early Intervention

Early intervention in orthodontics refers to the practice of evaluating a child’s oral health, teeth, and jaws at a young age to identify potential problems and determine if early treatment can prevent or mitigate issues that may arise later in life.

During childhood and early adolescence, the jaw undergoes significant development, accompanied by the growth of muscles and other oral structures. Sometimes, this growth process can lead to abnormalities or malocclusions, such as an incorrect bite or misalignment of the teeth. Early intervention involves proactively assessing the child’s dental and skeletal development to identify any such issues.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. At this stage, some permanent teeth have erupted, and the orthodontist can assess the child’s dental and skeletal alignment, jaw growth patterns, and identify any early signs of potential problems.

During an early intervention appointment with drName, various factors are examined to determine if treatment is necessary. This includes assessing the bite alignment, looking for signs of protruding front teeth, checking for overcrowding or insufficient space for teeth to erupt properly, and evaluating the overall harmony and balance of the oral structures.

If any issues are identified during the evaluation, drName will recommend a customized treatment plan tailored to the child’s specific needs. The goal of early intervention is to address orthodontic concerns at an early stage, taking advantage of the child’s ongoing growth and development. By intervening early, it is possible to guide the natural growth processes and potentially avoid more complex or invasive treatments in the future.

Early orthodontic treatment can include various approaches such as the use of braces, aligners, expanders, or other orthodontic appliances. These treatments are designed to gradually align the teeth, correct the bite, improve facial aesthetics, and create a harmonious balance between the teeth, jaws, and facial structures.

By addressing orthodontic issues early on, the chances of achieving a beautiful smile and optimal oral health in the future are significantly improved. Early intervention not only focuses on the aesthetics of a child’s smile but also plays a crucial role in promoting proper oral function, which can have long-term benefits for overall dental health and self-confidence.

It’s important to consult with a St. Louis orthodontist like drName to assess your child’s individual needs and determine the most appropriate treatment options. With timely intervention, you can give your child the best chance for a healthy and confident smile as they continue to grow and develop.

What is the point before permanent teeth are in place?

During the phase before permanent teeth are fully in place, which usually occurs around the age of 7, early intervention plays a crucial role in obtaining a comprehensive understanding of a child’s oral condition. Even though baby teeth are still present at this stage, an early intervention evaluation by drName offers a complete assessment of the child’s oral health, including hidden developments beneath the gums. This in-depth analysis provides valuable insights into what the future holds for the child’s oral development as they continue to grow.

By examining the child’s oral condition before the eruption of permanent teeth, drName can detect and identify any existing or potential problems that may arise during their dental and skeletal growth. This proactive approach enables the orthodontist to provide timely preventive or interceptive treatment recommendations, often minimizing the extent of future orthodontic interventions.

What is the best age for braces?

The optimal age for braces treatment can vary depending on the individual circumstances of each child. While there is a general guideline that braces treatment often commences between the ages of 11 and 13, it is important to note that the best age for braces is ultimately determined by drName based on a thorough assessment of your child’s specific condition.

One of the key factors considered when determining the appropriate age for braces is the stage of dental development. Waiting until the ages of 11 to 13 is typically advantageous as it allows for the replacement of baby teeth with permanent teeth. At this stage, most or all of the permanent teeth have erupted, providing a more stable foundation for orthodontic treatment.

However, it is important to acknowledge that each child’s dental development progresses at their own pace. Some children may experience early eruption or delayed eruption of permanent teeth, which can affect the timing of braces treatment. drName will carefully evaluate your child’s dental growth and development to determine the most effective and suitable age for initiating braces.

In addition to dental development, other factors that influence the timing of braces include the nature and complexity of the orthodontic issues. Some orthodontic problems may benefit from early intervention during childhood, while others may be more effectively addressed during the adolescent years when most growth has occurred. drName will consider these factors, along with your child’s overall oral health and specific treatment needs, to determine the best age for braces.

It is important to remember that braces treatment is a highly personalized process, and the age at which it begins can vary from patient to patient. The primary goal is to start treatment at a time when the teeth and jaws are receptive to orthodontic adjustments, ensuring the most favorable and efficient outcomes.


What is the significance of early orthodontic intervention?

Early orthodontic intervention allows for the assessment of a child’s dental and skeletal development during their growing years. By identifying potential issues at an early stage, orthodontists can recommend preventive or interceptive treatments, reducing the need for extensive interventions later on.

How long does orthodontic treatment typically last?

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case and individual factors. On average, treatment can range from 12 months to 24 months. drName will provide a personalized treatment plan outlining the estimated timeline for your child’s specific orthodontic needs.

Are braces the only option for orthodontic treatment?

No, braces are not the only option for orthodontic treatment. Depending on the specific dental issues, drName may recommend alternatives such as clear aligners, removable appliances, or other orthodontic devices. These options provide more discreet and flexible treatment options, particularly for older teenagers and adults.

Can adults benefit from orthodontic treatment?

Absolutely! Orthodontic treatment can benefit individuals of all ages. Adult orthodontics can address concerns such as misalignment, crowding, and bite issues. There are various discreet treatment options available, allowing adults to achieve a straighter and healthier smile.

Are there any dietary restrictions during orthodontic treatment?

While wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances, it is advisable to avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods that can damage the appliances or make oral hygiene more challenging. drName will provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid and offer dietary recommendations to ensure the smooth progress of treatment.

Can orthodontic treatment improve overall oral health?

Yes, orthodontic treatment can improve overall oral health. By correcting misaligned teeth and bite issues, orthodontic treatment enhances oral function, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene. Properly aligned teeth are also less prone to dental issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and uneven wear.

Will wearing braces or orthodontic appliances cause discomfort?

It is common to experience some discomfort or soreness when braces or orthodontic appliances are first placed and during adjustments. However, any discomfort is usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax to alleviate any minor irritations.

Is there an orthodontist near me in St. Louis that offers braces for kids and teen?

Yes.  At our St. Louis orthodontic office we offer braces for kids and teens to patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area.  Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.