Your kids might not appreciate it now, but a healthy smile with straight teeth is an asset that they’ll appreciate later in life. Braces are the most effective method available for straightening your child’s teeth. Aligning their teeth also reduces the severity of other oral issues and can eliminate the need for tooth extractions and other bite-related problems farther down the road.
At Kids Choice Dental, traditional orthodontic braces can be fitted on the upper and lower teeth to accomplish several dental goals:
Braces can be fashioned from metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets semi-permanently bonded to the teeth. Whatever type of orthodontic realignment that a patient uses, they all work by placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a proper position. You can often choose brackets that are clear or metal, and you can also choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in the brackets themselves. Wires have also become less noticeable than they used to be as the metals used are strong enough to achieve the desired effect with only a fraction of the size. Even better is that these newer materials adjust teeth faster and cause less discomfort to patients.
Treatment usually lasts between 1 and 3 years, although early intervention can take as few as 6-12 months. Don’t hesitate if you think your child may need some corrective intervention. The sooner you can get problems corrected, the sooner your child will have a winning smile that will stay with him or her forever after.
Per the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists, your child’s first orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of alignment problems or no later than the age of 7. At that point, orthodontic treatment may not be imperative, but such thorough examination can anticipate any potential problems and the best time to begin treatment should it become necessary.
Early evaluation provides the timely detection of problems and a better opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention also helps with dental growth and development, preventing serious positioning problems later. When orthodontic intervention isn’t a necessity, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it’s better suited.
For most people, the first adult molars emerge at around 7 years old and establish the back bite. During this period, an orthodontist can check on front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. An orthodontist can tell if one tooth is growing in crooked and pushing neighboring teeth. Such instances are rare, but if left alone can lead to painful problems later that will take more time and effort to correct. The sooner the screening, the brighter the smile.