When do I have to put my children in braces?

There are many myths about the age at which to start treatment. orthodontics.

The most widespread are that orthodontics is put in when children turn 13 or "orthodontics is put in when there are no more milk teeth left, but as you can imagine this is not entirely true. In fact, when asked the question "what is the most appropriate age for orthodontic treatment? the most correct answer is: it depends.

The children in their developmental stage may experience changes in the bite and are often due to swallowing (atypical swallowing) or breathing (narrow airways).

These changes can influence bone development. If these are sustained over long periods of time, we may not be able to resolve them in time, so for a complete solution we may need to resort to the surgery in adulthood.

A clear example is that of patients with "oral respiration" (mouth breathing). These patients place the tongue in a low position, when it should be placed on the roof of the mouth. This means that during growth, the palate does not develop and becomes narrow in relation to the jaw, causing an increasingly frequent malocclusion: cross-bite.

In a patient with a crossbite, the upper molars are positioned inside the lower molars, when they should be on the outside.

Because of this, patients chew on one side only, so that the jaw does not develop symmetrically. This development will result in abnormalities of size and function of the jaw, as well as facial asymmetries and aesthetic problems.

Normally, these cases should be diagnosed from the age of 4 years, so that we act early to "redirect" the growth of the jaw in the right direction, thus avoiding unnecessary surgery.

As you can see, orthodontics is not just for straightening teeth. We can also solve problems that could have lifelong negative effects on the patient.