Braces: Does Your Child Need Them?

Kid on a dental chairBraces are most effective on kids, as developing teeth and bones are easier to move than when they are permanent. Your child may need to wear them for a number of reasons, such as crowded teeth, crooked teeth, or a bad bite (also known as malocclusion).

Mahoneydds.com and other dentists in South Bend note that genetics also affect the size, shape, and growth of the teeth. If you or someone in the family needed braces, it’s likely that your children will have to wear them too. Sometimes, tooth and jaw problems — getting involved in an accident, losing a baby tooth, or keeping old habits like thumb sucking — may call the need for braces.

Determining Orthodontic Problems

A visit to the dentist will help determine teeth and jaw problem or if your child needs braces. An orthodontist can decide what type of braces would be best for your kid’s situation. Many children can wear those with metal wire, brackets, and rubber bands. Clear removable braces are an option too, but they are not right for every case.

Recommended Age

There is no specific age on when should your child see an orthodontist. Experts suggest, however, that kids can start their visits at age seven when permanent teeth start showing. It is important to note that wearing braces immediately is not always better. The orthodontist will decide when is the right time for your little one to have them.

Other Devices

Sometimes, children may also need to wear other devices like headgear. This has a wire attached to the back of the teeth to provide more pressure in moving the teeth. You and your kids don’t have to worry, though, as this appliance is just worn at night.

If your child needs braces, you will need to visit the orthodontist for adjustment and monitoring. The duration of wearing braces may depend on the orthodontic problem. The average length is two years and after the treatment, your child may need to wear a retainer. This keeps the teeth from moving back to their previous places.