As a parent, you want your kids to get the best smile not just to boost their confidence but also to ensure their dental health. But if you or your child haven’t worn braces before, you might not be able to understand some things about this treatment. In this parent’s guide to braces for kids, you will learn the answers to some of your questions. Keep on reading to learn more!
Why Your Child Needs Braces
There are plenty of reasons why your child might need braces at a young age. Your child’s dentist will be able to notice problems if you visit them regularly. They can also recommend the right type of treatment for your child.
To help you decide if you should visit a dentist with your child soon, here are some signs you need to look for:
- Overlapping or overcrowded teeth.
- Misaligned teeth and jaws including overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
- Disproportionate jaws or when the jaw or teeth is disproportionate to the rest of the face.
- Difficulty in chewing food, which could be a sign that your kid has misaligned teeth or jaws.
- Difficulty in speaking, which can be a result of misaligned teeth and jaws.
- Mouth breathing, which affects the growth of your child’s teeth and jaws.
- Early loss of baby teeth, which can cause the neighboring teeth to shift and move, causing alignment and spacing issues.
- Tooth Wear, which is a sign of misalignment and can cause further problems for your child’s teeth.
- Finger sucking, which is a habit that can cause open bite crowding on the both upper and lower teeth.
- Jaw shifting or clicking, which often happens because of misalignment.
What Is the Right Age for Braces?
There is no fixed age when children should have their braces on. This is why it’s best to visit a dentist with your child because they can determine the right time to begin treatment. By having regular check-ups starting at a young age, you can ensure that your child’s jaw and teeth are growing correctly.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to bring your child to an orthodontist when they’re around 7 years old or when their permanent teeth have started coming in. An orthodontist is a dental specialist in diagnosing, preventing, and treating irregularities in the teeth and jaw.
Normally, braces are fitted when your child has lost all their baby teeth. This usually happens when they reach 12 years old.
Types of Braces Available for Kids
Braces are dental appliances that can straighten teeth alignment. These put a steady pressure on your child’s teeth to move them into a straighter position. There are different types of braces and your dentist will discuss your options:
- Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are composed brackets and rubber legates that hold the wire in place. The wires create pressure that causes the teeth to slide into the right position. The braces are attached to the teeth through a special dental adhesive. These get the job done effectively even when there is a severe misalignment.
Invisalign is a type of clear removable aligner that resembles a set of clear retainers. Instead of metal braces, the clear aligners fit over the teeth and gradually move the teeth into a straighter position. Invisalign aligners are custom-made based on the digital scan. Every few weeks, the old aligners are replaced with a new set. Because they’re removable, there are no food restrictions. Your child can also clean their teeth more easily.
How Long Will the Treatment Be?
The duration of the treatment will depend on the problems that the dentist is trying to correct. It will also depend on the type of braces used for the treatment. But for most children, braces are worn for about two years. After the braces are taken off, they still might still need to wear a set of retainers to keep the newly straightened teeth from moving back to their original position.
Braces Aftercare for Parents and Kids
Your dentist will provide clear and detailed instructions on how to care for your child’s braces. Make sure to follow their instructions so that the treatment can go well.
If your child has traditional metal braces, you should pay close attention to cleaning because food can get stuck between wires and teeth. You will need to teach your child to be extra diligent in brushing and flossing. Other than that, you should also be aware of what they eat. Sticky and tough foods can damage braces.
For Invisalign, aligners should be removed before eating. This is essential to prevent cracking, chipping, and breakages. Ensure that they wear the aligner for the recommended time. The less it is worn, the longer the treatment can take.
Whether your child has traditional metal braces or Invisalign aligners, it’s also important to schedule regular dental exams, so their dentist can keep track of their progress and routinely clean their teeth.
It’s a good idea to bring your child to the dentist while they’re young, so you can ensure that their teeth and jaws are growing properly. A dentist can help spot problems early, so you can prevent costly treatments in the future.
If you have any more questions about braces for kids, you can send us a message here at Elevate Dental. With our modern clinic and experienced team of specialists, we will make you and your child’s visit as pleasant as possible. Our dentists and staff know how to make kids comfortable, so you can be assured that they get the best treatment they need.