If your child is going to need braces, then you should get a jump start on the process by visiting an orthodontist when your child has hardly lost any teeth. Most children need braces at some point, but there are a couple of things that the orthodontist can do in order to cut down on the time spent in braces.
First, your child can get a palatal expander if his or her mouth is quite small and crowded. The orthodontist will be able to tell if the mouth is too small simply by looking to see where a couple of adult teeth are starting to grow in.
If no adult teeth are coming in yet, then the orthodontist can also measure the mouth and see how much space is left on the gums. He or she may not put a palatal expander in the mouth until your child loses some teeth and starts to get adult ones because it is much easier to expand and make room as the new teeth come in.
Otherwise, the orthodontist will not know exactly how much space is needed according for the adult teeth because each person has different sized and shaped teeth.
The palatal expander will hide in the roof of the mouth, and your child will use a small key to turn it a little wider each day. The expansion will be very gradual, so your child so not be in pain.
With the use of an expander, your child may not need braces or will at least not have to wear them as long because the expander will fix some of the issues before they occur.
In some cases, an orthodontist can use a retainer to shift your child's teeth a little so that they are straight. There is no reason for braces if a retainer can fix the problem in just a few months.
The orthodontist can do this by creating a mold for the retainer, and then he or she can make some little bends in the retainer to push teeth back if they are sticking out in front.
If your child's teeth are overlapping a lot, then this method will not work because braces will be needed to pull the teeth from side to side.
By doing pre-orthodontic treatment, your child may not need braces for nearly as long and can have a much easier time eating and chewing with perfectly straight teeth.