Many parents may wonder about when is the right time for their children to get braces. Studies show that 50 to 70 percent of children in the United States wear braces, so your children have a high chance of joining the statistics. Read on to learn how young they can start braces.
Children grow differently, which means that each of them has their mouth developing uniquely from the others. Childhood entails many changes to the teeth, mouth, and jawbone. The rule of thumb is to take your child to see an orthodontist between ages 9 to 14 to check if they need to wear braces unless your dentist refers you earlier.
Starting orthodontic treatment before they go through puberty is ideal. Adjusting the teeth and jaw past that age can be more difficult.
Below are some of the signs that show your child needs braces at a young age:
Blocked out or misplaced teeth
Difficulty biting and chewing
Recessed or protruding jaw
Late or an early loss of their baby teeth
Continual cheek biting
Jaw or teeth that is out of proportion with the face
Sounds from the jaw
Most of the braces kids wear have rubber bands, wires, and brackets. The specialist will tighten up the wires during every visit which will help realign the teeth. While metal braces are still used, ceramic, white, and clear braces can also work. Such colors are better than metal in terms of being less visible.
Your dentist can also recommend removable aligners. They are plastic trays that your child can remove when they eat or brush their teeth. Most parents prefer getting their children clear orthodontic appliances.
However, your doctor can best advise what to use depending on how effective they will treat your child. Some can recommend using a headgear that has a stronger pull than all the other methods.
Kids with wire braces work hard to keep them clean because food can get stuck in them every time they eat. Hence, brushing teeth after eating is a must. Your child can also get special dental floss for flossing daily. Ideally, take them for regular dental checkups and cleanings to look for cavities.
Some foods such as popcorn, gum, and sticky candy need avoiding. Juices and sugary sodas can also cause tooth decay. Keep them away from your kids. If your child is wearing clear aligners or retainers, ensure they remove them before eating.
Braces can feel uncomfortable from time to time due to the pressure they exert on teeth. Eating soft foods and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help. If your child loses a bracket or a wire, or it pokes their mouth, see their orthodontist immediately.
The severity of your child's orthodontic problem will determine their length of treatment. Some can wear them for nine months, while others can have them on for up to three years. They will also wear a retainer for a few years to ensure no movement once the braces get removed. Many variables determine how long your child will have their braces. Ideally, they should keep up with follow-up appointments and proper oral hygiene.
For more information about braces for children or to schedule an appointment, contact Pediatric Dental Group at our offices in Honolulu - (808) 593-8828 or Lihue - (808) 245-2131.