When Should My Kid Get Braces?

First of all, “Not every kid needs braces …..”

This is a frequently asked question in my practice. We serve all ages and have a significantly sized family practice with a lot of children, here in Fairfield County.

My response is always an entanglement of subjective and objective insight. It can be “thin ice” for me separating the line of esthetics, form and function versus pure vanity. A parent’s focus of extreme perfection fueled by our current  bizarre culture of self-love definitely parlays into the decision-making process to brace or not to brace.

In general, an orthodontic consult is in order by age eleven. For the most part, orthodontists want to wait for those large cornerstone upper canines to come down. Many situations do require much earlier intervention;  as early as six years old.  Absent permanent teeth, genetic disorders, malformations to name a few will get you to the orthodontist before Third Grade.

Parafunctional habits such as thumb-sucking ( B.T.W. it’s okay if your child sucks their thumb up until the age of 5 years old. The jaws really  begin to expand due to a growth spurt at around that age. A thumb sucking habit, unfortunately,  can actually direct the jaw’s growth direction around the child’s thumb casting a malformed palate. Best to stop the habit before that age.) Consult your dentist for specific advice.

A Quick Story…….Some years ago, a patient’s mom asked me if her child needed braces. “All the other children in his class have braces. What about my son? Does he need braces?” , she asked with a fervor and intensity. My response was calculated and detailed after an objective clinical evaluation.

The child’s teeth and jaws were in excellent relationship to each other.  Home care excellent. Very good overlap position of incisal edges. No cross bite. I noted a slight rotation of a single upper lateral tooth; and I mean ever so slight.

She pressed on and asked again. “Is he perfect?”

My response was, ” Hmmm…. not so perfect, this tooth over here. There’s a slight tip of edge. There, can you see it?”, as I pointed with my dental explorer’s tip. The mom squinted her eyes, darting her head  in and out towards the child’s face. The child, frozen, motionless, like a marble statue  firm in the dental chair was holding his breath.

The mother in obvious disgust and frustration towards me,  ranted, “My son will be perfect. He needs braces”.

Well there you go… “To Whom Shall I Transfer Your Records? “

Post Script: She and her son left the practice soon after.


Dr. Emilio & Associates,  Always Accepts  New Patients. He especially exceeds at treating same day emergencies patients suffering from tooth ache pains.

His goal is to keep his patients’ Teeth and Gums Healthy For Life.

Feel Free to appoint a Consultation with the Doctor. Open Six Days A Week

OPEN on Weekdays.  7:30am -8:00pm  (M<T<W<T)

Fridays.  7:30am-2:00pm

Weekends (Saturday only).  8:00am-2:00pm

111 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.

You can always contact me directly via email  blog@robertemiliodds.com

Instagram:  dentist_in_connecticut

Office (203)866-7164      www.robertemiliodds.com

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Author: robertemiliodds

My Passion is People and the Teeth Connected To Them! General dentist

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