children orthodontics

Does my child really need braces?

If your dentist has recommended your child have an orthodontic consultation, take this advice seriously. Not only can orthodontic treatment create a more beautiful smile that can boost your child’s self-esteem, it can create a better functioning smile. Orthodontic treatment can help ensure your child can speak, bite, and chew properly. A properly aligned bite is also easier to take care of, helping your child fend off tooth decay and gum disease. If your dentist has not mentioned an orthodontic consultation, it’s still a good idea to see an orthodontist for a consultation. Orthodontists and dentists specialize in different areas (read this post to learn more) and there are certain developmental situations that orthodontists look for to help prevent future problems.

At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist for the first time around the age of seven. This may seem young, but it’s the ideal time for several reasons. Your child will have some mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth at this age and your orthodontist can see how the jaw is growing. If there are growth discrepancies, the orthodontist can make a plan to address this at the time when it will have the most positive impact on the smile.

Will my child need braces at the age of seven?

No, most children who see an orthodontist at this age will not require treatment at this time. However, for children who may benefit from early interceptive treatment, this allows for the orthodontist to craft a treatment plan that can create the most ideal smile and bite for your child. Some patients will benefit from two-phase treatment. This involves helping guide the growth of the jaw first, and then straightening the smile once all permanent teeth have erupted.

Can we wait to have our child receive treatment?

You can always wait, however, if you wait until the jaw has stopped growing, treatment may be more involved. While healthy teeth can be moved at any age, the most ideal results can be achieved during the adolescent years when orthodontists can take advantage of growth and development of the jaws.

What is early interceptive treatment?

Some patients may benefit from early interceptive treatment. This treatment is divided into two phases and is targeted to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

  • The first phase of treatment involves aiding the growth and eruption paths of permanent teeth and providing additional space as needed.  This can provide a better environment in which permanent teeth can erupt.  Certain bites are also corrected at an early age due to potential traumatic interferences of the teeth and or growth deviations affected by the bite.

  • The second phase of treatment is the straightening and overall bite correction phase. Dr. Woo will use braces or aligners to guide the teeth to their ideal locations and help improve the functioning bite.

    Not all kids will need early intervention, but it is a good idea to get a baseline when your child is younger to help plan for the future.

To learn more about early interceptive treatment or two-phase orthodontic treatment read this blog post: Don’t Put it Off – Why Your Child Might Benefit from Early Ortho Treatment

Are there options other than metal braces for my child?

There are many orthodontic options today. Metal braces are still the most common because they are efficient and effective. But if your child would like a more discreet look to their treatment, we offer clear aligners, ceramic braces, and even lingual braces depending on the specific situation.

What types of braces treatments are available for children?

At Riverdale Family Orthodontics, we strive to provide the best in treatment options. That means ensuring the ideal treatment is available for each patient. We are proud to offer a variety of treatment modalities for your child:

metal braces

Metal braces

Metal braces are the most commonly used treatment. Dr. Woo uses braces made of high-grade stainless steel that are designed to be lower profile and more comfortable causing less irritation to the lip and cheeks.

Ceramic clear braces

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces offer the efficiency of metal braces, but in a more aesthetically pleasing way. Made of clear or tooth colored material, the brackets will blend in with the natural smile.

Invisalign clear aligners


Invisalign offers a way for your child to get a perfect smile using a clear, comfortable, and removable system. The clear aligners sit comfortably over the teeth to gently guide them to their new locations.

lingual braces

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are metal braces that are completely invisible. That’s because they sit along the lingual, or tongue, side of the teeth, making it a 100% invisible way to straighten your child’s teeth.

kid getting braces

How long will my child wear braces?

This answer is unique to every patient because each smile is different and every patient responds to treatment differently. The average length of time in braces can range from between 12 months to 36 months depending on type of treatment.

How much do braces cost for children?

The exact cost of your child’s treatment depends on a few factors, such as the severity of their malocclusion and type of treatment. However, we work with every patient to ensure treatment is affordable. We will help you find a payment plan that can fit comfortably into your family’s budget, and our office will help you maximize the insurance benefits, if you have dental insurance.

Does my child still need to visit the dentist regularly while in orthodontic treatment?

Yes! It’s more important than ever that your child’s smile is healthy, so be sure you maintain your child’s regular six month check-ups, even during orthodontic treatment. It is sometimes recommended every three month appointments if hygiene becomes an issue.

Will braces interfere with my child’s extracurricular activities and sports?

No, braces won’t impact your child’s ability to participate in sports and other activities. If your child is involved in contact sports or any activity where a blow to the mouth could occur, be sure your child has a properly fitting mouthguard. This will protect the braces, but also protect your child’s mouth from injury.

Parents want the best for their kids, and that extends to wanting beautiful, healthy smiles. At Riverdale Family Orthodontics, we proudly treat patients of all ages and work with parents to ensure their children have confident, beautiful smiles, and functioning bites.

Riverdale Family Orthodontics is proud to work with families to create healthy and beautiful smiles! Call today for a complimentary consultation, 718-884-7700!