Braces are a common procedure among kids and teens. Aside from improving a child’s smile, braces can provide them with important long-term health benefits that many parents overlook when considering orthodontic treatment.
Although the cost of braces may be daunting up front, investing in your child’s dental health by getting braces can help save money on more expensive procedures down the road and avoid potential pain and disease, they could experience later in life if their teeth or jaw remain misaligned.
We all know that oral hygiene is important. Investing in your child’s oral hygiene at an early age is essential for helping them maintain proper alignment of the teeth and gums into adulthood; read on to discover why young kids need braces!
Reasons Your Child May Need Braces
Here are some reasons why your child may need braces.
Children may require braces for several reasons, such as crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth. “poor bite” (known as malocclusion). Malocclusion is the difference in size between the upper and lower jaws.
One of the primary reasons why children require braces is a crossbite. Crossbites occur when the lower jaw deviates to one side, and the upper and lower teeth do not fit properly from left to right or front to rear. Crossbites can result in worn and chipped teeth, jaw discomfort, and asymmetrical jaw development.
Underbite, also known as Class III malocclusion or prognathism, is a disorder characterized by the protrusion of the lower teeth and jaw in advance of the upper teeth. In a normal mouth, the higher teeth cover the lower teeth somewhat, but in prognathism, the situation is reversed, giving the patient an unnatural look.
Deep bites frequently result from misaligned teeth and jaws but can also be caused by periodontal disease (gum disease), worn, fractured teeth, or tooth loss at the rear of the mouth.
The majority of individuals have minor overbites that do not require treatment. However, orthodontic treatment is strongly advised for people with substantial overbites when the top tooth arch protrudes too far ahead of the lower dental arch.
Most people refer to an anterior open bite when they say “open bite.” People with an anterior open bite have upper and lower front teeth that are angled outward, preventing them from touching when the mouth is closed.
An open bite is a malocclusion, implying that the teeth are not correctly aligned when the jaws are closed. An open bite might hinder your child’s ability to bite and chew food correctly.
Additionally, prolonged thumb sucking can cause an “open bite,” which is a malocclusion characterized by the top and bottom front teeth not contacting (not meeting or overlapping) while the kid is fully biting.
When should my child be evaluated?
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that all children visit a dentist or orthodontic expert no later than the age of seven.
Many parents are startled to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists suggests children visit an orthodontist at age 7 for an orthodontic examination. In the past, orthodontic therapy typically involved extracting many teeth, using headgear, and substantially lengthier treatment timeframes. When a child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt, we may now leverage the patient’s early growth to correct and, more importantly, avoid orthodontic issues.
At age seven, any abnormalities with development or eruption are readily identifiable. The orthodontist can then decide if the kid’s permanent teeth will fit and whether the youngster has a bad bite or bad habits.
Suppose the orthodontist observes, for instance, narrow developing jaws, impacted teeth, or an overbite that may require extractions in the future. In that case, they can currently use orthopedic procedures to educate the bones to grow appropriately. This method of re-establishing the correct jaw size makes tooth extractions (teeth removal) nearly unnecessary. With this earlier intervention, orthodontic treatment duration is often shorter and more pleasant.
You can trust that the expert pediatric dentist in Fredericksburg, VA, like Junior Smiles of Stafford, will help your child establish and maintain good oral health habits for years to come. We always put your child’s comfort first and ensure they have a positive experience every time they visit our office. In addition to providing quality dental care, we also focus on preventive treatments like fluoride therapies and sealants to help keep their teeth healthy and strong. Plus, we offer convenient appointment times so you can get your whole family’s dental needs taken care of in one place.
What types of braces are there?
The majority of children require only brackets, wires, and rubber bands. The brackets are attached to the teeth via a wire and rubber bands. The wire is gradually tightened over time to help properly align the teeth. The rubber bands are available in kid-friendly hues. Some braces are made of metal, while others are transparent or white porcelain. Some even hide their teeth (lingual braces).
Clear detachable braces that shift teeth using plastic trays called aligners (instead of wires and rubber bands) are also available, but only for certain individuals.
Some children may require additional equipment, such as helmets (usually worn only at night). Using a horseshoe-shaped wire attached to the back teeth, headgear exerts a greater strain on the teeth. The orthodontist may also suggest that your kid have one or more teeth removed to provide additional space in the mouth.
Your child must visit the orthodontist every few weeks for monitoring and adjustments while wearing braces.
How long will my child need to wear braces?
How long children must wear braces depends on the orthodontic issues the orthodontist is attempting to correct. The typical duration is almost two years. A youngster may then wear a retainer — a little, hard piece of plastic with metal wires or a thin piece of plastic fashioned like a mouth guard — that has been properly manufactured. Retainers prevent the teeth from returning to their previous positions.