Have you noticed that your child’s friends or classmates are wearing braces? Perhaps you feel that your child’s teeth seem a little bit “crooked” ? Maybe you wondering whether your child needs braces. We would love for you to bring your child for a dental exam so we may discuss everything about their teeth and braces with you!
Braces can be a big deal and and exciting time for kids! Yet, some kids may be anxious about them because they think it will hurt, or that they could look silly. However, with more knowledge and education, your kids may be more at ease with the thought of braces. Chances are that your child is not the only one needing corrective measures and that they have several classmates who have them. Allowing your child to recognize that his/her peers are also going through the same journey may help them feel less isolated and more at ease.
There may be several reasons why your child needs braces. Teeth can be misaligned front-to-back individually, and sometimes their upper or lower jaw could be in front of the other, creating an over or underbite (also called malocclusion). Our pediatric dentist would be able to detect this during their regular checkups and may refer you to our orthodontist to have your child evaluated for braces. We typically recommend a consult with our orthodontist at the age of 7. Regular checkups allow us to detect issues that need immediate attention. Such issues may be treated with an interim appliance or a headgear that attaches to their teeth and usually is only needed at night or when they are at home in the evening.
In orthodontics today, there is lot more technology than ever before. New and improved methods and procedures are now used to ensure the braces are smaller and nearly invisible or they may not even have any wires at all! If your child has the braces with wires, they can chose between lots of fun colors for elastics-maybe even match their school team!
Now, lets talk hygiene. While your child is in braces, it is especially important to keep their teeth clean. Braces can be a food and plaque trap if not kept clean. Brushing after eating is key. Also, Some foods are not great for keeping braces in good condition such as popcorn, hard and sticky candy and especially gum. While your child can have treats on special occasions, it is always important to brush afterwards!
Most children only need to wear braces for approximately two years. After that, they will typically wear a retainer long term-or they can have a fixed retainer( a wire fixed to teeth). Our orthodontist will be able to tell you what is best for your child.
We hope this brief intro to orthodontics helped a little. Please come visit us at Hifive Kids Dental to discuss further with our pediatric specialists and orthodontist. Together, lets get your child on to the path to a great new smile!