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Everyone in my family has needed braces (siblings, nieces, nephews, etc.)

Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on January 31, 2010

Everyone in my family has needed braces (siblings, nieces, nephews, etc.) I can only assume that my children will need them. At what age should they have an orthodontic assessment?

You are probably right, it is quite likely that your children may need braces. I would recommend that your children are assessed your family dentist to see if they are ready to be referred to an orthodontist. We often see children for an orthodontic assessment from around 10 years of age, but sometimes younger as we may need to fit an orthodontic brace to correct the bite for example when the upper front incisor tooth is positioned behind the lower incisor tooth which is called a cross-bite, or to help stop a thumb sucking habit. A simple removable brace can be fitted to correct these early orthodontic problems.

Often fixed braces are not fitted until all the baby teeth have fallen out, but it is important to be assessed even if you are not ready to start brace treatment to allow the orthodontist to check that the teeth are developing and erupting normally.

An orthodontic assessment would involve assessing the extra-oral features of your profile and examining your teeth and its bite – how they meet. You may need to have ‘moulds’ taken of your teeth and possibly dental x-rays.

Do keep up your regular check-up visits with your family dentist as they will arrange a referral to an orthodontist if required. However, you can always arrange a self-referral to an orthodontist.

AAO - Member American Association of Orthodontists BDA - British Dental Association World Federation of Orthodontists BOS - British Orthodontic Society RCS - Advancing Surgical Slandaros British Dental Health Foundation British Lingual Orthodontic Society