Braces for kids – when should you get them?The ‘perfect’ time will depend on your child, although most children get orthodontic braces from age 10-14. Find out more about braces and what you need to consider as a parent below. Development of adult teeth and jaws begins at age 6 and continues until age 18+ for most children. According to Oral B, sociologically the perfect time for orthodontics is from 10-14 years of age as this is when the teeth can be easily influenced without affecting your appearance when it matters more, such as during your career or much later in life. It’s also safer to treat younger mouths as they are often healthier. Adults are at a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay which can complicate braces treatment as braces are harder to clean and if not cared for properly can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Children’s teeth may be slightly more resilient to these problems, although of course it’s still important to brush and floss thoroughly every day.
Do I have to wait until all baby teeth have fallen out to get braces?No you don’t have to, although it is usually recommended that your child has most of their adult or permanent teeth when you start treatment. If you are concerned about how your child’s baby teeth are growing through then early intervention orthodontics could be an option for you. Early intervention orthodontics can involve non-orthodontic and preventive actions taken to improve the way your child’s adult teeth develop. This can include:
- Early extraction
- Guided eruption
- Arch expansion (to decrease overcrowding)
- And more!
What is 2 phase braces treatment?There are different types of braces and you may have researched braces and come across phase 2 braces treatment. 2 phase braces treatment is used in some severe cases to correct bite alignment issues. If you think your child might have an overbite or underbite then it is possible that your dentist or orthodontist may recommend 2 phase braces which involves one treatment of orthodontics, a break, and then another phase of braces. For a majority of cases this isn’t necessary so always seek professional advice. If you need a second opinion on 2 phase braces please contact our Airport West dental practice.
Do crooked teeth cause problems?If you want to put off orthodontics for your children, it’s important to know the potential problems that can occur.
- Crooked teeth are harder to clean which means an increased risk of decay
- Leaving crooked teeth for later can mean braces later in life (when your children have a job)
- Pressure on the wrong places which can mean extra wear on some teeth
- Your child may well be teased by others for having severely crooked teeth
How long will they need braces for?The length of treatment will depend on each individual case. Some kids will potentially need to wear their braces for up to 3 years, while others may only need a shorter treatment period like 9 months. This will depend on how severe your child’s orthodontic problems are. Moreover, they may require follow-up treatments, for example retainers, once their braces are removed. Other factors that can affect treatment time include your child’s oral health and hygiene routine and regular check-ups to ensure the treatment is progressing properly.
How do I know how if my kid needs braces?There are a few things to keep an eye out for when wondering if your child needs braces or orthodontic treatment. This includes:
- loss of baby teeth at irregular times, e.g. early or late
- trouble chewing or biting
- mouth breathing
- excessive thumb sucking
- crowded teeth
- irregular jaw sounds or jaw growth
- cheek biting or biting the roof of your mouth