Braces for Kids

Although orthodontic treatment can benefit anyone at any age, early orthodontic treatment can be more efficient and make for a more comfortable experience.

Through early treatment, Dr. Senties can help guide the permanent teeth into a healthy alignment as they’re erupting. Dr. Senties has years of experience providing gentle orthodontic care for young patients with growing mouths. 

It’s not just about ‘straightening teeth’. It’s about establishing a healthy foundation to support a beautiful set of permanent teeth. 

We’re proud to be a family friendly practice in San Antonio, where everyone is welcome.

What is the best age to get braces?

The ideal time to begin orthodontic treatment is often times when the teeth and jaw bones are still developing. This is why the early teen years can be the best time to have an exam and start braces or clear aligner treatment. 

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it’s best for children to receive their first orthodontic exam by age 7. During this time, the jaw bones haven’t fully developed yet and the permanent teeth are beginning to erupt. 

When you bring your child in for his or her first orthodontic exam, this doesn’t mean treatment will begin immediately. Every child is different and every child’s smile develops at a unique rate. Dr. Senties will only suggest treatment if it can benefit your child’s quality of life.

How do I know if my child needs early orthodontic treatment?

If you notice any of the following signs in your child, he or she may benefit significantly from treatment.

Our Goal with Early Orthodontic Treatment

Through early treatment, we aim to:

Phase 1 and Phase 2 Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment is most effective when separated into two phases, designed to work alongside the natural development of the teeth and jaw bones.

What is Phase 1 treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is typically completed between the ages of 7 and 12. The purpose of this treatment is to establish a strong foundation with a sufficient amount of space for permanent teeth to emerge in alignment.

If your child’s palate (upper arch) is too narrow, this will be apparent during this time. The palatal expander appliance is often used during phase 1 to widen the upper jaw, creating enough space for all permanent teeth to fit in the mouth without crowding or overlapping. 

If your child has a severe “underbite” (the lower teeth being ahead of the upper teeth), orthopedic correction of this problem with the use of a headgear is most effective at this stage.

What is Phase 2 treatment?

In most cases, phase 2 treatment will begin in the early teen years, when all (or most) baby teeth are lost, and all (or most) permanent teeth have fully emerged. 

During this phase, we focus on the final position of all the teeth and jaw bones. Full orthodontic treatment with braces is often completed to establish a harmonious, proportionate facial appearance and to position the teeth in a straight and beautiful alignment.

Have questions about early orthodontic treatment or braces for kids?

We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Dr. Senties and our experienced team are here to help guide you throughout your treatment process, from your first visit to your last visit.

Ready to begin your smile transformation process? Let’s get started with your complimentary exam at our convenient San Antonio location!