When it comes to orthodontic treatment, one of the most commonly asked questions is about when it is suitable for kids to get braces. This is because each parent wants their child to have the best smile possible. However, it's not always easy for them to understand the specifics of how this can be achieved, including the best age for braces and what type of braces would be suitable for their child. Parents also want to know how long it will take for their child's teeth to be fixed.
Read on to find out more about braces and the best age for kids to get them.
Reason Kids Get Braces
Like all other health issues, the matter of braces is quite subjective. There are a lot of conditions that can be treated using braces in children. Genetics and oral healthcare play a huge role when it comes to why kids should get braces. Some kids are born with conditions that can be corrected using braces, and some get the conditions as they grow.
It's important to understand that every child is unique. This means that each child's mouth develops differently. As a result, there are several changes that occur in the mouths of children, not only to their teeth but to their jaws as well. As you monitor your child's oral healthcare, you might notice some issues to do with the arrangement of their teeth and their number.
Here are some issues that you can notice:
- Overcrowded teeth
- Uneven bite
- Teeth crookedness
- Teeth protrusion
These are some of the most common reasons why kids need braces.
Best Age for Kids to Get Braces
Once you notice a condition that requires orthodontic treatment, you should quickly take your child to a child dental specialist. However, this doesn't mean that they will receive treatment right away. Instead, they could just be monitored while the specialist waits for an age when your kid can receive treatment. This early appointment is crucial, and can help prevent certain issues later on in life.
Apart from spotting ongoing problems, the orthodontist can also uncover potential dental concerns. This will help them come up with a treatment plan that will speed up the process once your child reaches an age when they can get braces. Once you talk to your orthodontist, you won't need to worry about a suitable age; they will keep you informed.
General Age for Braces
Once the orthodontist decides that your child needs braces, they will guide you through the process. The talk they will have with you will help you choose the best time for treatment. Some children can start their orthodontic treatment as early as age six. However, the majority of orthodontists advise that children should get braces around age 8 to 14. This is the age range when the mouth is most suited to straightening.
How Long Do Kids Wear Braces?
Again, this is quite subjective. Because kids get braces for different reasons, this also means that the duration of treatment depends on the condition being addressed. Apart from that, the condition being dealt with also determines the type of braces and plans to consider. Most kids will need to wear braces for at least 18 to 30 months. However, during this period, several adjustments will be made to the braces so that teeth can shift into proper alignment. Once the treatment is done, your child might need to wear retainers for up to a year. Some kids might even wear a permanent retainer to prevent the condition from recurring, depending on the recommendation from the kid's pediatric dentistry specialist.
Do Braces Hurt?
Whenever your kid visits the kids pediatrics dentistry specialist, they will usually tighten and adjust the interconnecting wires. This will increase the amount of pressure exerted on the child's teeth, and it can cause some discomfort. However, this discomfort is quite brief, and your child will likely be fine in no time at all. In some instances, some of your child's teeth might have to be extracted to make room for proper jaw alignment.
Once you identify an issue with your child's teeth alignment, you must quickly take them to a child dental specialist no matter what age they are. The sooner your child gets checked out, the sooner they can receive help and prevent more complex issues. Early intervention can also help to prevent airway, bite, or oral issues from advancing and becoming long-term problems. It will also enable the orthodontist to deal with an issue that can't be corrected once the child's jaw stops growing.