Children who need braces often receive them between the ages of 7 and 16, but every child is different. Your pediatric dentist can guide you in making the best treatment decision for your child.
Why Children Need Braces
When your dentist informs you that your child may need braces, it's natural to have many questions. Some parents believe braces are an unnecessary expense and that dentists recommend them for purely cosmetic reasons. However, braces can help your child overcome many medical and dental problems and improve their lifelong oral health.
Here are many reasons beyond crooked teeth why your child may need braces:
Trouble biting or chewing
Finger or thumb sucking
Problems with jaw alignment
Protruding top or bottom teeth
Teeth that do not meet when the child closes their mouth
Teeth clenching or grinding
Early Orthodontic Visits
Every child should see an orthodontist at around age seven. An orthodontist can examine a child's teeth visually and via X-rays, check for any developmental issues, and determine whether the child needs treatment at a young age or in the future.
For younger children, early interceptive treatment may include using orthodontic appliances to guide the development of the upper and lower jaw and prevent future issues.
How Braces Work
Braces are highly effective orthodontic appliances that we can customize to meet your child's needs. Braces can correct many orthodontic problems and protect your child's oral health for a lifetime.
To install braces, the orthodontist cements brackets on the front-facing tooth surfaces and bands on the molars. An archwire connects the brackets and guides tooth motion throughout your child's treatment. Each bracket has an elastic band that holds the archwire in place but allows the teeth to move freely.
The orthodontist moves your child's teeth by tightening the archwire. As the wire tightens, it puts gentle force on the teeth, encouraging them to move to their proper positions. A child with braces will need to see the orthodontist every four to six weeks for adjustments and careful monitoring.
After the teeth reach their optimal positions, the orthodontist removes the braces and provides a retainer. The child must wear the retainer for the recommended time to prevent the teeth from returning to their original places. Many orthodontists recommend that the child continue to wear the retainer full-time for the first four to six months and, after that, wear it at night for a year or more.
Call Tender Smiles 4 Kids
The news that your child needs braces may come as a surprise, but your orthodontist has your child's lifetime oral health first in mind when recommending these appliances. If you have any questions about braces or any other type of dental treatment, please call us at one of our convenient New Jersey offices today.