I see many of my child’s chums and classmates wearing braces. Maybe my child should, too. The question is best answered by the dental experts at Forest & Ray. Many orthodontists say children should see an orthodontist once their permanent teeth start coming in, around age 7 because overcrowding issues begin to become apparent about then.
But, the best age for braces for kids is between 10 and 15 years of age. Then, the head and the mouth are still growing and teeth are most conducive to the straightening that braces provide. Some kids can't wait to get their braces, seeing them as a sign that their teen years can't be far behind. Others, though, worry about what they'll feel or look like. Parents and dental experts, like us, can calm any anxiety your child may have about wearing braces. So, the first step is consultation.
Reasons Why Children Need Braces
- Your child has lost his milk teeth quite early in life or even quite later.
- If the teeth in the jaw have a pattern of being crowded towards a certain area.
- The new teeth that emerge from the gums appear from an incorrect position.
- The teeth necessary for chewing do not make appropriate contact.
- Your child cannot chew food properly or is unable to bit hard food items.
- If there are multiple instances where your child has accidentally bitten the cheek from the inside.
- If the child sucks on the thumb or has used a pacifier even beyond 6 years of age.
What Happens At The First Consult?
We will make astute observations around multiple aspects of the mouth such as the arrangement of the teeth, their shape, the alignment of the jaw, and so on. By asking your child to bite and checking the movement of the jaw, your dentist might also follow it up by asking if your child has any specific problems while talking or while eating or if there are any clicking sounds in the bone.
In our experience, the earlier the investment is made in braces, the better the results will be. One thing is for certain, it is not likely that the expense will be any less in later years. Still, braces are not cheap at any age but there are many ways to cut down on the cost and keep you and your child smiling. One way is to ask us about convenient, comfortable finance options that may be on offer for you. Other factors that affect the cost are the type of braces you choose for your child.
Removable Braces for Kids
There are three options here:
- Removable braces for “interceptive treatment”, which are made up of a plastic plate covering the roof of the mouth and metal wire that clips on to the front teeth. They are used to carry out limited teeth movements for children aged from about 7-11. They are often used as the first stage before fixed braces.
- Clear removable braces such as Invisalign braces which are favored by teenagers for straightening teeth.
- "Lingual" type of braces consists of brackets that attach to the back of the teeth, hidden from view.
Kids like invisible removable braces compared to fixed braces because they can take little breaks from wearing the aligners for things like eating and brushing their teeth. But they must take care not to lose them and must keep them clean. With this type of braces, plastic aligners are tailor-made for your teen. They wear each set for about two weeks. Each set of aligners slowly but surely moves the teeth towards their final position.
Fixed Braces for Kids
- With metal brackets- strong, durable metal brackets are attached to the teeth and connected by wire. Modern-day fixed braces are much more subtle and comfortable than the fixed braces of decades ago.
- With ceramic/plastic brackets-These types of braces are sometimes preferred for they are more cosmetically appealing to teens as they more naturally blend in with the teeth surface. And because there are different styles available, it means that teens can choose to make a fashion statement as braces are seen as a mouth jewelry accessory.