Article at a glance
- Does your child need dental braces?
- What is the right age for your child to get braces?
- What are braces and orthodontic appliances?
- Why do dentists recommend braces for your child?
- What signs should parents notice before visiting a dentist for braces?
- How does the dentist decide if your child needs braces?
- How braces are fitted in children?
- How can your child take care of the braces?
- Can my child get allergic to dental braces?
- How long should your child wear braces?
- How are the braces removed?
- how to avoid injuries from braces in children?
Does your child need dental braces?
A dentist usually recommends braces to improve the child's physical “orofacial” appearance. Through orthodontic treatment, issues like crooked or crowded teeth, underbites, overbites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw joints are corrected.
What is the right age for your child to get braces?
Children with orthodontic issues can benefit from treatment at almost any age. The most suitable time for placement of braces is between 10 years and 14 years of age, while the mouth and head are still growing, and teeth are more responsive to straightening. Braces aren't just for kids. Many adults also wear braces to correct minor problems and to improve their smiles.
What are braces and orthodontic appliances?
Braces and orthodontic appliances are used to correct issues including crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, talk to his dentist.
An orthodontist specializes in correcting such issues and perfecting smiles using orthodontic appliances, such as:
Why do dentists recommend braces for your child?
Though there are a variety of dental appliances used, braces are still the primary means for correcting misaligned bites and straightening teeth in children.
Braces apply pressure to the jaws and teeth to move them into a proper position.
Early in the days' Braces were a shiny mouthful of metal, but recently much better options are available where brackets are bonded directly to the tooth
Braces are available in various materials such as:
- Stainless steel
- Combination of materials
These newer materials give a clear or tooth-colored appearance to the braces. The wires are made of materials such as copper-titanium or nickel-titanium which last longer and require fewer adjustments than stainless steel wires.
Clear, invisible “trays”
can straighten teeth without the need for traditional braces and wires. This uses clear, custom-made, removable trays that put pressure on the teeth, moving them gradually into their correct position.
What signs should parents notice before visiting a dentist for braces?
Kids may need braces for many reasons, including:
- Crooked teeth
- Overlapping or overcrowded teeth
- Bad bite” known as malocclusion, when there's a difference in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws leading to overbite or underbite
- losing baby teeth too soon,
- Habits like thumb sucking.
Need for braces can also be inherited, so if you or anyone in your family needed braces, it's likely that your child might, too.
Often, your child's dentist will notice problems and recommend to see an orthodontist who can decide whether your child need braces and which devices would be best.
How does the dentist decide if your child needs braces?
The orthodontist after thoroughly examining your child's teeth, mouth, and jaw, may ask your child to bite the teeth together and ask questions to see if the child has problems in chewing or swallowing, clicking or popping of the jaw.
The orthodontist might take X-rays of the mouth and teeth to check the teeth positions and if any permanent teeth still need to come in. The orthodontist may also make a mold (or impression) of your child's teeth that will help to decide which treatment options are best.
How are braces fitted in children?
- A cheek retractor will be used to keep the teeth dry and visible during the procedure.
- The teeth are polished to ensure the brackets will bond adequately, after which they are air-dried.
- A conditioner is applied on thefront surfaces of the teeth to preparethem for bonding the brackets.
- This is cleaned are dried, and an adhesive primer is applied on the teeth to enhance the bonding process.
- Cement is applied on the back of each bracket, which is then applied to the predetermined positions on the teeth.
- Excess cement is removed, and high-intensity light is used to harden the brackets into place
- The retractor is removed, and then the dental arch wires are put into place.
The entire process can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. The length of time is also determined by the time taken to position the components correctly in order to treat the child's specific condition.
Initially, the child can expect to feel some tightness, which typically progresses to soreness, for approximately 4 to 6 hours. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers may be recommended to help relieve this pain. The soreness is expected to decrease in about 3 to 5 days.
Once your child's braces are in place, regular adjustment appointments are necessary to ensure the desired outcomes. It usually takes at least three weeks for tooth movement to occur, and requires adjustment appointments every three to 10 weeks.
How can your child take care of the braces?
As food can easily get stuck in wired braces, kids need to Brush after meals and floss everyday (special flosser are available to use in and around braces). Regular dental check-ups and cleaning to look for cavities
are also a must.
Your child should avoid certain foods
- hard and sticky candy
- Chewing gum
- Sugary sodas and juices
Kids using clear plastic aligners should always remove them before eating
See the orthodontist right away if there is a loose wire or bracket, or a wire that is poking inside the mouth.
Can my child get allergic to dental braces?
Yes. Some children are allergic to certain materials, such as nickel and latex. If your child is allergic to latex, tell your dentist to use non-latex gloves.
Braces sometimes can irritate a child's gums, causing it to swell. This is not an allergic reaction, but parents still need to watch for
How long should your child wear braces?
The duration of treatment varies depending on the problem, how well the child cooperates, and the child's growth. Commonly, braces are needed to be worn for 18 to 36 months.
How long should my child need to wear a retainer?
Ideally, retainers are used for forever, even if it is only a night a week. Of course, this might not be practical. The teeth jsut like the rest of the body and keep changing. Slight changes to the teeth can be expected once the child stops wearing the retainer,
How are the braces removed?
Once the treatment is complete, remove the braces is relatively simple and painless process. The bond between the teeth and the brackets is safely and gently broken by squeezing the bases of the brackets which releases the adhesive. some adhesive is left on the teeth to prevent damage to the tooth structure and enamel.
After brackets are removed, the leftover bonding cement is cleared using a dental handpiece. Pain is minimal because no tooth structure is being removed. The gums may be slightly inflamed, which will usually subside in a few days with good brushing and flossing
How to avoid injuries from braces in children?
Injury to the mouth when your child is wearing braces can be a scary thing, but they are very common as long as you know how to deal with it.
The most common injuries are to the teeth, lips, jaw, tongue, gums, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth (hard or soft palates), tonsils or neck.
Don't panic if there is a lot of blood. as it doesn't necessarily indicate a serious injury. Mouth injuries usually tend to bleed a lot and look a lot worse than they really are.
Completely protecting your child from injury is impossible, however, there is something you can do to have a little extra protection. If your child is into sports or engages in physical activity, getting an orthodontic mouthguard can help. This is not the regular sports mouthguard. It's designed to fit comfortably over your child's braces to protect both the teeth and braces in the case of an accident.