Preparing for dental care costs for your kids is necessary, considering the limited circumstances Medicaid covers orthodontic treatments, including braces. 

To qualify, your dentist should deem your child’s need for braces as medically necessary. Plus, even if your child qualifies for braces under Medicaid, there may still be out-of-pocket fees for services related to orthodontic treatment. Take note that Kentucky is a state with limited Medicaid dental coverage.

Now, if you’re asking, “Can you get braces with baby teeth?” It’s on a case-to-case basis. Here’s what you need to know if your child still has their primary teeth.

Can You Get Braces With Baby Teeth? (Spoiler Alert: Yes!)

One of the things you’ll learn when researching dental care for kids is that the first dental appointment should be within six months of the first tooth erupting. Doing this will ensure that your dentist can teach you proper mouth cleaning for babies, preventing baby bottle tooth decay, etc.

As for orthodontic treatment, most children indeed need it when they have lost their primary or baby teeth. Usually, this happens between ages 7 and 14 years old. However, if they have difficulty chewing, speaking, or biting, your dentist might recommend braces even if they still have baby teeth. 

Pediatric dentists will also recommend braces for younger children when they have an early or late loss of primary teeth and/or if they’re mouth breathing.

Other Signs Your Child Needs Braces

How do dentists decide if your child needs braces even if they still have baby or milk teeth? 

Aside from the already mentioned signs, dental doctors will recommend braces if the child is at risk of permanent or severe damage. One example would be a kid with extremely crooked teeth. Patients with overcrowded teeth and severe overbite are also candidates for early orthodontic treatment

Keep in mind that orthodontists will want to address over or underbite, as well as crowded teeth, early on to ensure your child’s healthy smile as they grow up. If your kid has crowded teeth, their mouth would have less room for larger permanent teeth. This could also lead to issues in their upper and lower jaws. 

Your Child’s Orthodontic Treatment Options: Traditional Braces

Despite the popularity of clear aligners, traditional braces remain popular because of their advantages. For one thing, they’re fun. If you’re a kid with braces, getting to choose new, colorful bands makes dental appointments more exciting.

It’s also good to know that metal braces are now much smaller. They’re also effective for all ages, unlike clear aligners, which are recommended for teens and adults. That said, traditional braces may be the best choice if you have a pre-teen kid.

Other benefits of traditional braces include their affordability and ability to shorten the treatment duration. Yes, in some cases, they work more quickly than the alternatives. Traditional braces can also treat more complex problems, such as jaw alignment issues, and they’re quite durable (no need to worry that your child will lose them since they’re not removable).

Alternatives to Traditional Braces

If you’re not keen on getting traditional braces for your child, there are alternatives such as Invisalign, lingual braces, ceramic braces, and self-ligating braces.


While many think that Invisalign = clear aligners, it should be noted that not all clear aligners are created equal. In fact, children with permanent teeth and primary teeth can safely use Invisalign. 

For children ages six to twelve, there’s Invisalign Phase I treatment. If you opt for this, know that this treatment can help prevent bite issues from worsening. This can also “push” teeth into proper alignment. 

Bonus: If you have a kid who sucks their thumbs, Invisalign can help correct this. How? Clear aligners “create” a barrier that makes thumb-sucking uncomfortable, which makes discontinuing the habit easier.

Ceramic Braces

Another option to consider is ceramic braces. As the name implies, the brackets are made of clear or white ceramic. They’re a good alternative if you still want the benefits of traditional braces but prefer something other than the look of metal braces.

Since ceramic braces are tooth-colored, they’re less noticeable. The only downside is cleaning can be a hassle. Because of their color, they stain more quickly, so if your child is younger and still perfecting their dental hygiene habits, this alternative might not be the best for them.

Lingual Braces

Similar to traditional braces, lingual braces have metal brackets and wires but are placed behind teeth. For older kids, regardless of whether they still have their baby teeth or not, these are worth considering if they feel a bit self-conscious about wearing braces.

There’s one disadvantage, though, and that’s related to the duration of the treatment. Compared to other braces, they take longer to work and are more expensive. Also, if your child has tiny teeth, these will not be effective for them. 

Self-Ligating Braces

Traditional braces require elastic bands. Meanwhile, self-ligating braces have brackets that are made with a sliding door. This means they don’t need rubber bands to hold the wire in place.

For some patients, these are more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces are more expensive. If you have more than one kid needing orthodontic treatment, crunch the numbers first to see if these braces are a good investment.

Will My Child Need Braces for Long?

Some patients’ orthodontic treatment lasts for a little over a year. Others require more prolonged treatment. It depends on how complex their dental issues are. 

After their braces are removed, they often need a retainer. This will help keep their smiles aligned while their facial structures continue to develop. 

Of course, as long as your child follows the orthodontist’s instructions and keeps up with dental appointments, it’s possible they won’t need to get braces again.

Keep Your Child’s Smile Bright and Healthy

You know the answer to “Can you get braces with baby teeth?” Now, you’re looking for the best orthodontists in Frankfort and Louisville, KY.

White, Greer & Maggard Orthodontics have served families in Kentucky for almost three decades. We offer early treatment options for parents like you, including traditional braces and Invisalign.

Don’t hesitate to contact us so we can discuss early orthodontic treatment options for your child.