Kids typically have negative feelings about getting braces. They often worry that they might be uncomfortable or look awkward. However, braces are also a way to set them up for a confident adulthood and a healthy smile. It’s normal for parents to also have concerns, including how it will affect their wallets. If your child’s dentist recommends braces, then here’s what to expect for both you and your child.
Why Does My Child Need Braces?
There are a number of dental problems that can be corrected by braces. Some of these include teeth that are overcrowded, crooked, or overlapping. Some children might have an overbite, which is caused by the upper jaw being larger than the lower. When the opposite is the case, it results in an underbite. Both of these can negatively impact the teeth over time.
When baby teeth come out too soon, tooth and jaw problems can result. Thumb sucking, accidents, and genetic factors can also cause tooth abnormalities. Due to heredity, if family members require braces, children are more likely to need them as well.
The age at which children can benefit most from braces varies a great deal. Children as young as six can get them, and adults can also repair tooth problems with braces. It’s most often suggested that children wait until their baby teeth are gone before considering braces, which is usually around age seven. In any case, your child’s orthodontist can determine the right time for your child to consider braces.
Visiting the Orthodontist
On the first visit, your child’s orthodontist will perform a complete examination and discuss any symptoms related to eating or swallowing. Jaw problems such as clicking or popping are also important to discuss. If necessary, your child’s orthodontist might take X-rays to determine the extent of alignment problems. This also reveals any adult teeth that are still coming in.
Different Kinds of Braces
The most common kind of braces are composed of wires, brackets, and rubber bands. The wire is tightened over time, little by little, until the teeth are aligned. Ceramic and clear braces can also be used for a less noticeable look. The different types of braces are all equally effective, but come with different pros and cons as well as costs. For children who need more pressure to move their teeth, headgear may need to be attached at night. After your child gets braces, they’ll visit the orthodontist regularly to have them adjusted. On average, braces will take about two years for full treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
If you would like to learn more about getting braces for your child, fill out our consultation form and get in touch with our team. Dr. Kathryn Swan is an experienced practitioner at Swan Orthodontics in Caledonia, MI who provides a wide variety of orthodontic treatments.