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FAQ:  Orthodontics - Children - Teens

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Extractions at a young age? My 7 year old went to the orthodontist because her front teeth are crowding.

He recommended to have her 4 baby canine teeth extracted to give her front teeth room to straighten out.

Is this common? Is it better to have the teeth removed now or to wait until she is old enough to get braces? ....Visitor from VA

This orthodontist has a great quality called honesty and is absolutely telling you the right thing.

So many times I see where an orthodontist places a 7-8 year old child in braces, to accomplish the same thing as removing some primary canines.

The only difference is the braces cost about $2700 and extracting the teeth cost about $200 and unfortunately is going to require another phase of treatment once all the permanent teeth have erupted.

You will be amazed in about 12 weeks how much the alignment will be achieved across the upper and lower front teeth, just by creating some extra room through extractions.

Also, by borrowing a little space at this time does not mean your child is going to need future permanent extractions, because additional space will be available from the remaining baby molars.

The primary 1st and 2nd molars are larger than the permanent teeth that are going to erupt under these baby teeth. We as orthodontists refer to this space as E-space and utilize it all the time to prevent permanent extractions.

Please take this orthodontist's advice and continue to see him on a regular recall program until your child is ready for comprehensive treatment at around 11-12 years of age.

Editorial Staff

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