Early orthodontic treatment from a top orthodontist may prevent worsening oral health issues later in life. However, while most parents have heard of traditional orthodontics, some may not know what to expect from early orthodontic care. While both treatments seek to alleviate symptoms and restore health, their respective goals and methods vary somewhat. Phase one, often…
How Do I Know if My Kid Needs Braces?
Braces are a dental device that is used to correct teeth alignment issues like crooked, crowded, and misaligned teeth. They work by constantly pushing on the wearer's teeth, slowly moving them to the proper alignment. Braces consist of two main parts: Brackets that are placed on each tooth and wires that connect the brackets in a row. Tightening the wire increases the force on the wearer's teeth.
How do I know whether my child needs braces?
When it comes to orthodontic issues, it is best to address them when the patient is young. A child’s jawbone is still developing at this time. Ideally, parents should take their children to the orthodontist for their first checkup before they reach the age of seven.
Many common orthodontic issues like protruding teeth or gaps between teeth are genetic. Others are caused by conditions like breathing with the mouth, poor oral hygiene, thumb-sucking, or poor nutrition. Here are some indicators that a child might need braces:
- Problems biting or chewing
- Early or late loss of primary teeth
- Breathing with the mouth
- Sucking on a finger
- Cuts inside the roof of the mouth or cheeks
- Teeth that are not proportional to other parts of the child's face
- Teeth that do not properly come together when the mouth is closed
Parents who notice any of these issues should take the child to an orthodontist as soon as possible for a proper evaluation.
What to know before starting treatment
If your child has dental issues, such as tooth decay or missing teeth, then see your dentist before beginning braces. It becomes much harder to address these concerns after braces have been installed, and braces can even make some of them worse. This is due to the fact braces make it harder to reach each tooth to clean it or work on it. Braces also make the wearer more susceptible to tooth decay since food can get stuck in the braces. Patients who deal with existing issues before proceeding with orthodontic treatments are more likely to get great results.
Once your child starts wearing braces, it might take some time to get used to speaking, eating, and talking. Once the adjustment period is over, the child will barely notice the device most of the time. Traditional braces were quite bulky, but the modern ones have slick designs that make them harder to spot. Modern braces also look stylish since they can be customized to suit the child's taste.
FAQs about braces for kids
Think your child needs braces? Here are the answers to some of the questions you might have:
1. Do braces hurt?
This is a common question that kids have about braces. The answer is that while your child may feel some discomfort when their braces are first put on, this usually goes away quickly as their mouth adjusts to the new hardware. Once the child gets used to wearing braces, they should not cause any pain.
2. How long does my child have to wear braces?
How long your child will need to wear braces depends on the severity of their dental problems and how well they take care of their teeth while wearing braces. Most people need to wear braces for one to two years before their teeth are fully aligned.
3. Can a child still eat the same foods with braces?
Your child can still eat all their favorite foods with braces. However, they will want to avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage the braces. Cutting up tough meats and chewing slowly can help avoid damaging braces.
4. How often does my child need to see the orthodontist?
Your child will need to see the orthodontist every few weeks so they can check on the progress of the treatment. They may adjust the braces at each appointment to ensure they are working correctly.
5. Will my child need to wear a retainer after their braces are removed?
Most people will need to wear a retainer for some time after their braces are removed. This helps ensure that the teeth stay in their new, corrected position. Wearing a retainer as directed by an orthodontist will give your child the best chance of having straight, healthy teeth for life.
Does your child need braces?
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