Coming to see us for a first visit around age 7 is a great way to get your child’s smile off to a bright start. Often a child will not need braces until the teen years, but an initial consultation helps us see how your child’s teeth and jaw are forming, so we can create the best future plan for orthodontic care. If any early adjustments are needed, we can make them at just the right time, before your child’s jaw is fully developed and help to prevent issues that might arise later. When your child is ready for braces, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from that make orthodontic care easier and a little more fun than ever before.
Benefits of Early Treatment
Most of us think braces are for straightening teeth, but braces are accomplishing a whole lot more. Braces align teeth for a beautiful, straight smile, as well as align the teeth and jaw so that actions such as chewing and speaking do not cause pain. Many kids experience bite misalignments or overcrowding, which if not treated properly during the formative years can cause pain and health issues in adulthood. Early diagnosis and treatment, before jaw bones are fully developed, leads to better, faster results for life.
When you bring your child to Farina Orthodontic Specialists for a first consultation, we’ll make your child feel welcome and safe. We’ll do a thorough exam of your child’s teeth and take non-invasive images to determine jaw position. If we see any alignment or crowding issues, we will talk about them with you and come up with the best plan of care. If everything looks good, we’ll invite you to return for periodic check ups so we can monitor tooth and jaw development and address any issues at just the right time for your child.
Are There Multiple Options for Braces?
There are a few options when it comes to braces based on what issues need to be addressed and your child’s lifestyle. With traditional braces, metal brackets are glued to each tooth and connected with metal wires. The pressure from the wire pulls the teeth and jaw to their proper position slowly over time. With traditional metal braces, your child will need to come to the office periodically to get their braces tightened and to monitor progress.
Clear or ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces but instead of metal brackets, they use ceramic. This material mimics the natural color of the teeth, making the braces less noticeable to others. Clear braces are a great option for children who may not want to draw so much attention to their braces.
Self-ligating braces look almost identical to traditional braces, but they use a different mechanism to apply pressure to the teeth. Instead of using elastics or metal ties around the brackets, self-ligating braces utilize a special type of bracket that independently tightens over time. This can make self-ligating braces a bit more comfortable than the traditional braces, and also can cut down on the number of visits to the orthodontist office since manual tightening is not needed.
Will Braces Impede My Child’s Lifestyle?
In general, braces will not severely impact your child’s life. There are certain changes you will need to make to keep your child’s braces working properly and to maintain good dental hygiene. First, it is important to avoid certain foods while wearing braces. Hard, sticky, or chewy foods tend to break or damage braces, leading to wires poking out or brackets getting dislodged. It is best to leave these foods for when your child gets their braces off, and save yourself from an emergency visit to the orthodontist.
Dental hygiene is always important to keep in mind, but braces do make brushing routines a bit more involved. The brackets of braces tend to attract plaque and buildup, so make sure to encourage your child to pay extra attention to their brushing and flossing. Your orthodontist will give you a special flosser that your child can use to really clean out all the nooks and crannies of their teeth and braces. Keeping up good dental hygiene practices means your child will not only have straighter teeth at the end of their treatment but healthy ones too!