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Are Braces For Kids Inevitable?

Aug 25 / 2017

We won’t say that Orthodontic treatment is inevitable, but we will say that everyday parents come to us asking “Will my kid need braces?” or “Are braces inevitable?”

Considering about 33% of the world population has undergone some sort of Orthodontic treatment and 80% of North American teens are currently undergoing treatment, braces may seem like a rite of passage.

Let's answer the two main questions that parents ask us on a daily basis. 

Will my child need braces?


Research shows that 80% of kids and teenagers have some degree of malocclusion, which is a misalignment of the teeth, with crowding being the most common. While anyone could benefit from Orthodontic treatment, not all everyone would need treatment, particularly those with very mild cases.

A consultation with Dr. James Scramstad would be the best answer to this question. During an initial consultation, Dr. Scramstad determines the best treatment method to meet your needs at no cost to you.

He will outline your treatment plan, your estimated length of care and provide a written financial quote and payment plan.

It’s estimated that around 15% of patients have serious Orthodontic issues. So, getting back to your question, “Will my child need braces?”, it is most likely that your child will land in the 80% of kids that have some degree of malocclusion, but what’s left to be determined is if your child is in the 15% of those with serious dental issues.

While we may not get started on treatment the day of a consultation, you will know whether or not your child needs Orthodontic treatment by the time you walk out of the doors at Align Ortho.

Can I prevent braces for my child?


Sorry to break it to you, but there’s nothing you can do to prevent problems that are hereditary unless you’re hiding some secrets we don’t know about yet.

While you can’t prevent certain problems, there are habits and factors that you do have control over. Here are a few ways we suggest you read when it comes to preventing Orthodontic issues, or at least reducing the severity of issues:

  • Schedule your child’s first visit with by the age of 7. By this age, the first permanent molars and incisors have come into the mouth. During this visit, Dr. Scramstad can evaluate crossbites, crowding, breathing and swallowing patterns, as well as thumb habits.

  • Stop sucking the thumb, chewing your nails or biting a pen/pencil.

  • Visit the dentist regularly to ensure your little one’s teeth are growing and they’re practicing proper oral care.

  • Make sure your child wears a mouthguard for any contact sport or activity that has a dental injury risk.

By bringing your child into an Orthodontic provider for early treatment, their teeth and jaw will be monitored, and you will be told when, and if, it’s time for treatment. If an action should be taken that could help make your child skip braces (like extracting baby teeth to make room for adult teeth), that will be shared with you during early treatment.

What causes crooked teeth?

While every patient is different, and we can’t say if braces are inevitable or not, it’s important to know what causes crooked teeth. If you know this information, it could help your family save a couple of bucks.

A lot of Orthodontic problems are caused by genetics. Crowding, one of the most common problems, often presents itself because there’s an imbalance when it comes to the tooth-to-jaw-size relationship.

Underbites are typically caused by a discrepancy between the jaws and are normally skeletal in nature.

Crossbites are also thanks to the genetic lottery.

As you can see genetics play a huge role when it comes to Orthodontic issues. However, the habits we mentioned above like sucking your thumb and nail biting are tied to a range of diagnoses including crossbites, crowding and spacing.

So, the final question you’re probably asking in your head is “is Orthodontic treatment worth it”?  For people with moderate or severe malocclusion, it’s definitely is. Even for those people with more milder cases, it can be a boost in confidence and improved oral hygiene and that’s worth it.

To see if braces are needed in your household, schedule a free consultation with the Align Ortho team today.



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