Braces for Kids
It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists, that a child be seen by an Orthodontic Specialist by the age of seven. A child may need braces for a number of reasons, some of them include overcrowded, crooked or overlapping teeth. While these signs are clearly visible, parents need to be aware of other signs that may not be as evident, such as missing teeth or jaw growth discrepancies.
Early signs indicating your child is going to need braces:
- Malocclusion (bad bite) refers to a condition in which the teeth do not meet up properly because the upper jaw and lower jaw are not the same size. If the upper jaw is larger than the lower jaw, this is referred to as an overbite. If the lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw, this is an underbite. If there is a vertical gap between the upper and lower front teeth when the child bites down, this is considered an open bite.
- A jaw that is disproportionate with the rest of the child’s face.
- Jaws that shift and/or make sounds.
- Teeth that seem out of proportion with the child’s face.
- Accidentally biting his or her cheek, consistently.
- Unintentionally biting the roof of his or her mouth on a regular basis.
- Teeth that do not meet or meet abnormally.
- Breathing through his or her mouth instead of the nose.
- Problems with chewing and/or biting food.
- Thumb/Finger sucking and/or pacifier use for an extended period of time.
- Losing primary teeth in an irregular pattern, later than expected or earlier than expected.
- Since tooth and jaw problems can be inherited, if you or some other family member needed braces, chances are that your children will need braces too.
Typically, as long as you are keeping up with your child’s biannual exams and cleanings, your child’s dentist will be the first one to notice issues that may require a visit to the orthodontist. However, parents who notice any of the signs listed above should contact our office and bring their child in for a complimentary initial consultation.
Types of Braces for Kids
The Damon System is a revolutionary teeth-straightening technique that uses shape-memory, high-technology archwires in conjunction with light, tieless brackets to gently reposition the teeth. The system’s slide mechanism holds the wire. The Damon System is superior to traditional teeth-straightening methods because it is clinically proven to provide the patient with a more comfortable and more efficient treatment process.
The Damon System offers patients quicker treatment completion, with fewer orthodontist visits than those typically required with traditional braces. In addition, since there are no elastomeric rings used with this system, Damon Braces are easy to clean. Furthermore, when a child has traditional braces, he or she must return to the office every 4 weeks for an adjustment; however, patients who choose the Damon System only return every 8 to 12 weeks.
Damon Clear is a nearly invisible, see-through teeth-straightening solution that is ideal for those who prefer their treatment to be less noticeable. The brackets used during treatment with Damon Clear are transparent and since they only have a thin metal wire running through them, these braces are virtually invisible. Damon Clear can address many of the issues that other invisible teeth-straightening solutions cannot. With Damon Clear Braces, there are no concerns related to losing removable invisible aligners or ensuring your child adheres to the treatment plan because Damon Braces remain in the mouth 24/7.
The Benefits of Braces for Kids
Corrective procedures work quicker and more efficiently for children than they do for adults and teens; therefore, seeking orthodontic care early on is extremely beneficial for the child, and the parent.
If the appropriate early treatment is implemented, it serves as an effective interceptive measure, laying the foundation so your child can have a healthy, well-functioning mouth in adulthood.
Since all areas of the mouth are accessible following a successful teeth-straightening program, keeping the teeth and gums clean is easier. Thus, reducing the likelihood that your child will develop cavities and/or gum disease.
In order to correct alignment issues, braces place steady pressure on the teeth. This consistent pressure eventually moves the teeth into the desired positions; however, braces accomplish much more than just moving your child’s teeth into their proper positions.
The many benefits of braces for kids include:
- The growth of your child’s jaw is positively affected by the improved alignment that is achieved with braces.
- A reduced tendency for your child’s teeth to gradually shift.
- A decrease in the likelihood that your child’s jaws joints will become damaged.
- Helping to guide your child’s permanent teeth into favorable positions.
- Improving your child’s self-esteem and confidence level.
- Preserving and/or creating space for erupting secondary teeth.
- Moving the teeth to more favorable locations, which reduces the likelihood that your child will experience impacted permanent teeth.
- A reduction in the amount of wear on the teeth by decreasing a child’s tendency to clench and/or grind his or her teeth.
- Reducing or even eliminating the need to remove healthy secondary teeth.
- An improvement in your child’s speech and chewing ability.
- A decrease in the potential for damaging the jaw joints.
- Reducing the risk of your child injuring protruding teeth.
- Improving the width of your child’s dental arches.
- Improving lip closure, reducing lip strain.
- As your child’s teeth straighten, he or she may experience a decrease in appearance-consciousness during some of his or her most critical developmental years.
The length of time that your child needs to wear his or her braces will depend on the issues that are being addressed; however, treatments usually last approximately 2 years. Once your child’s treatment with braces is complete, he or she may wear a retainer to ensure the teeth remain securely in place. A retainer is a very thin, custom molded piece of plastic with metal wires that are used to keep the teeth from drifting back to their original positions.
To learn more about the options available for straightening your child's teeth, contact DiCiccio Freeman Orthodontics today. Let us help you create your child a smile that he or she feels confident enough to share.