Fundamentals of Braces for Kids – A Guide for Parents

By Emily Taylor

Whenever a child starts growing up, he or she has numerous structural reforms. And one vital sign is when children begin developing adult teeth. Depending on your child’s body and behavioural patterns, there are chances that they may develop crooked or misaligned teeth. That is the time when they need our attention, care and support, to ensure that they have a healthy dental structure for life.

Photo by Jenna Tyson on Unsplash

When is it ideal for your child to see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists has recommended that it is ideal for children to have their first orthodontist treatment when they reach 7 years of age. 

Warning Signs That Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment

  1. Gapped Teeth

Children who have a prolonged habit of sucking their thumb may pull their front teeth either inwards or forward. And when the teeth undergo this shift, they may develop gaps between each other. This is known as diastema.

Diastema also develops when the child’s jaw is too big, and the teeth are relatively small. This disproportion of space causes gaps between teeth which need treatment. 

  1. Crooked or Crowded Teeth

Kids sometimes tend to have twisted, slanted or overlapping teeth. This occurs when their mouth is too small or narrow for their teeth. 

The crooked or crowded teeth result in misalignment and plaque formation. This can further lead to bad breath, tooth decay or gum disease too in the future.  

  1. Misalignment of Abnormal Growth of the Jaw

If your child faces jaw alignment issues which are causing problems like cheek biting or difficulty in biting any food item, it is best to visit an orthodontist at the earliest. Because when the teeth and jaws don’t meet, your child will face problems with chewing their food. Moreover, it can affect their appearance and their long term health too. 

  1. Unusual Bite or Jaw Structure

Children who have a habit of sucking their thumbs are very prone to a condition known as malocclusion, where the upper and lower jaw do not synchronize well to form a bite. These are teeth that surely need braces. It is best to see an orthodontist in this condition because treatment is much more comfortable as a child. A jaw misalignment, if ignored, can have harmful side effects in the long run. 

  1. Open Mouth 

Mouth breathing occurs when there is some form of blockage in the nasal passage. This results in a change in the tongue’s natural position, which should ideally touch the roof of the mouth. During mouth breathing, the tongue does not affect the roof but drops lower to allow for the passage of the air. The child can thus develop a protruding lower jaw, receding chins, flat cheeks, or even narrow jaws which do not have enough space for all the teeth.

Photo by Kamille Sampaio on Pexels.com

What braces suit kids the best?

There are different types of braces for kids; some of the popular ones are as below:

  1. Metal Braces – Also known as traditional braces, these are the most common and standard braces used to shift teeth.
  2. Ceramic Braces – These braces have ceramic brackets which are made to match the patient’s teeth colour and texture, and hence less visible as compared to metal braces. 
  3. Lingual Braces – If patients don’t like wearing visible braces, lingual braces can be used. They are mounted on the inner side of the teeth but may take some time to get adjusted to.
  4. Invisalign – This is an advanced technology of removable braces that do not contain any metal components. They are practically invisible. 

How long will your child wear braces?

Like any medical treatment, teeth alignment and correction is also custom for every child. How the child’s teeth respond to the alignment structures and any issues they may develop in the process are the key determiners of the duration for kids getting braces. However, that being said, patients usually take somewhere between a little over a year to two / two and a half years for the complete alignment procedure. 

How should we take care of the braces?

Kids getting braces must have a routine of brushing after every meal. This removes the food which gets stuck in the wires and prevents the consequent formation of plaque. Daily flossing is also a must to mental dental hygiene. 

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Braces for children’s teeth is your investment in your child’s beautiful smile and it is truly worth the effort. 

Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/XSrAhrpeohURQeZavPsWVFrijCTKEuTV2b2A2bYJngBZ-r3nCULMx3zr7GRTIS4OYhn5-TC2CAe3kFwM4jADHD5d4VF_TWD_7earyxfLQMY-NX_PZEF5hYeLlYCzruq4D6vGWLYw

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