Should My Middle School Kid Get Braces?
The short answer: Yes!
Why should my middle school kid get braces? Orthodontic evaluations at an early age are an important part of kids’ preventive dental care. In fact, it’s so important that the American Association of Orthodontics recommends bringing your kids in for an orthodontic evaluation starting at age seven.
Why so young? As with most health or dental issues, it’s easier to identify and fix potential issues early, especially severe bite or jaw alignment issues. Even if your middle school kid has all their adult teeth, their jaw is still maturing. Having braces to realign their teeth now will be much easier than waiting until they’re an adult.
Involving your child in the decision to get braces is also an important part of the process. Help answer any questions or concerns they have regarding orthodontic treatment and help them consider the available treatment options. You’ll both learn a lot going through the process and being part of the discussion and decision may help your child actually look forward to getting braces.
Orthodontic Evaluations Put You – and Your Child – in Control
An orthodontic evaluation is simple and consists of two parts. An assistant or hygienist will start by taking lots of X-rays and images of your child’s mouth. Once the orthodontist reviews them, he/she will come talk with you and your child about any potential issues. The orthodontist will also examine your child’s mouth for any signs of tooth damage, untreated tooth decay or any jaw or bite alignment issues that could cause problems later.
Take advantage of this time to ask questions, and encourage your child to ask questions, too. The more you both know about the results, the better decision you can make regarding your child’s orthodontic health. Together with your orthodontist, you can understand the pros and cons of each option and develop a game plan for any treatment your child may need now or in the future.
When It’s Time for Your Middle School Kid to Get Braces
Even if they’re involved in the decision, your child may still feel anxious once the time comes to get braces. Middle school is an awkward time for kids, and wearing braces for 12 or 18 months doesn’t help. However, with all the options out there today – from clear aligners to fun ways to personalize your braces, including color bands, stickers and cool brackets – your child can still have fun with their treatment.
Also, remind your child they’re not alone. Most kids who need braces usually get them between 9 and 14 years of age, so most likely, there’s at least one other kid in their class or school who will have braces at the same time. In fact, 25 to 50% of kids require some sort of orthodontic treatment during their lives. More than 4 million people in the U.S. wear braces, and only 25% of them are adults.
While our Milnor team is always here to support you, your child may be surprised to find that plenty of friends are wearing braces, too. Going through braces together can be fun and even strengthen a friendship. And of course, don’t forget the end goal – transforming your smile into the dazzling, healthy, straight smile you’ve always wanted!
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.