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Most people think the teen years are the best age for kids to get braces. But that’s not the case! Most orthodontists recommend kids start on braces earlier than their teen years when their mouths are still developing. 

The earlier you catch dental issues, the easier you can repair them. Often, that saves time and money. 

So what age should your child get braces? At Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics, we know that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child get evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7. Does that mean they need braces that early? Not necessarily.

When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

As we mentioned, the AAO recommends your child should be evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7. Why so early? By that age, the baby teeth are well on their way to being replaced by permanent teeth. 

We will be able to see a lot of things with this evaluation. Are the teeth themselves developing properly? Is there room for them to erupt properly? Is the palate (roof of the mouth) wide enough? Are the teeth already showing signs of coming in crooked, too high, or too low? Do they protrude outwards in an overbite or underbite? 

The sooner we spot these issues, the faster we can begin to fix them before they worsen. As more permanent teeth erupt, the dental issues tend to worsen if the other teeth aren’t where they should be or if there isn’t enough room.

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Two-Phase Braces for Kids

With most young children who need braces, we create a two-phase treatment plan for kids. The first phase corrects the current issues and prepares your child for the second phase later when most of the permanent teeth are in. The second phase comes after most of the permanent molars (aside from the wisdom teeth) have erupted. 

Phase 1 can usually include braces treatment but for lots less time than usual. Whereas most people wear braces for 12-24 months, Phase 1 braces usually take only 9-12 months. Often, though, the child doesn’t wear braces and may instead wear an appliance to prepare them for braces later. 

For example, we may install a palate expander because their upper jaw is too narrow for all the teeth to come in correctly. We may put in a tongue crib to move the tongue off the teeth and prevent the child from sucking their thumb, which could lead to an overbite. Or we may put spacers where teeth have fallen out prematurely so the permanent teeth have room to come in correctly once they finally erupt. 

The second phase is usually braces treatment. That can include treatment with clear braces for kids or even clear aligners, depending on your child’s treatment needs. We don’t offer traditional metal braces or lingual braces because our clear ceramic braces and Invisalign treatment offer faster and more effective treatment as well as a more discreet treatment. This usually happens once most of the permanent teeth are in, in their early-to-mid teens

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How Much Do Braces Cost for Kids?

The cost of braces for kids can vary depending on the extent of the dental problem your kiddo has and the type of braces they get. The idea behind two-phase dental braces for kids is to save money on braces because a child with severe dental issues will likely have a hefty braces bill. If those issues are headed off at the pass, so to speak, the treatment is usually less expensive.

Braces for kids cost generally range from $3,000-$4,500, but it can be less than that if the treatment doesn’t involve complicated plans because of several dental problems at once, like an overbite and crooked teeth, or an underbite and crossbite, or a deep bite and gapped teeth.

How Do I Pay for Braces for Kids Near Me?

We know paying for braces can seem intimidating, but good news!  Wilson & Hendrickson works with you to come up with a payment plan that’s affordable to you, with or without dental insurance. We offer zero-interest, in-house financing with monthly payments to fit your budget.

If you decide to pay in full, we’ll give you a discount! We also offer low down payments, so we won’t strain your wallet before your child even gets their braces!

We believe in providing affordable braces treatment in Topeka, KS, and Seneca, KS. We also know that good oral health is key to good overall health, and we want your child to have the best care possible to lead them toward a healthy lifestyle. We’ll discuss your payment options during your free consultation, so you’ll know exactly what to expect!

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What Your Child Needs to Know About Braces

Braces can help kids a lot, but your child needs to know and do a few things to make treatment fully successful. That means you may have to help out! The main thing your kiddo needs to understand is that they need to brush and floss their teeth every day. Brushing and flossing are vital to good oral health, and that’s especially true when they wear braces. 

Food can become trapped in and around brackets and wires when they eat with braces. If it’s not removed properly, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities, not to mention gum disease, and no one wants that! 

That’s why you need to encourage your kids to brush after every meal, or at least in the morning and before bed. They also need to floss at least once a day. Make sure they floss first! That way, any loosened plaque or food particles can be brushed away afterward.

Why is this so important? Several reasons! One of the biggest is something called demineralization, which is when plaque seeps minerals from the enamel, the hard outer shell of the tooth. 

Without proper brushing, demineralization can happen, particularly around brackets. That means when the brackets come off, your child may have white spots on their teeth where the enamel was demineralized. 

It’s also important because you don’t want your child to get cavities, especially during treatment. It may delay treatment to have to remove a bracket, band, or wires to treat a cavity. We’re sure both you and your child won’t want delays in getting to that beautiful new smile! 

Finally, encouraging good oral hygiene early sets habits that will stay with the child through their lifetime. Good oral hygiene means healthy teeth, which means fewer digestive issues, less jaw pain, and fewer headaches and neck aches later on. 

During their orthodontic treatment, there are going to be some food restrictions they need to be aware of, but there are plenty of great braces-friendly snacks for kids with braces.

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Braces for Kids in Topeka, KS

Do you want more information about braces for your child? We’re here to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether your child needs braces. During your free initial consultation, we’ll provide a thorough examination of your child’s mouth and jaws and let you know what treatment they’ll need and when they’ll need it. 

We’ll also tell you if we think your child’s teeth are just fine the way they are! We’ll never recommend treatment your child doesn’t need. Schedule an appointment for your child today!


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