Last week in my office, I saw two different 12 1/2 year old boys for their free initial orthodontic exams. Because every individual is unique in growth, occlusion and tooth eruption, I gave them completely different recommendations.
One boy would be best treated by starting his braces very soon, probably within 3 months. The other boy would be best treated in about 18 months. I will continue to see him every 6 months for no-charge “recall” or “wait and see” appointments to monitor his growth.
Why the difference? It’s all about personal growth patterns.
The boy who should start treatment soon is already 5 feet 8 inches tall. His father and uncles are 6 feet 4 inches. He is rapidly growing now. He needs his overbite growth pattern corrected now while he is rapidly growing. I will treat him with braces, wearing of rubber band elastics, and NO headgear in a 2-year treatment time. (In my office, I have not used a headgear in many years).
The boy who is not ready for treatment is 5 feet 2 inches. His family history of growth patterns is that growth comes later. He has not entered his peak growth time. According to his pediatrician, he is not expected to grow taller than about 5 feet 11 inches. This boy does not have excess overbite growth. He will need a 2-year treatment, but the best time to start is in about 18 months.
If your child needs braces, what is the optimal time to start treatment? Come in for your free exam. With my years of experience, I can give you good personalized advice. Usually there is no need for any special records at the free initial exam. I welcome patients who are looking for first, second or even third opinions. You deserve to make the most informed decisions possible on orthodontic treatment.