It used to be rare and special to get braces, but nowadays a “train track smile” is commonplace among children and young adults. This is why many parents are caught unaware, and may experience some difficulty in adjusting to a demanding new lifestyle for a few months, or even years. The ins and outs of getting orthodontic braces is still a mystery for many parents. We’ve made it easy and collected everything you need to know about your child’s braces in this helpful orthodontic FAQ.
My six year old daughter is just getting her permanent teeth, and I can already see that she is going to need braces. When is the right time to take her, am I already too late?
You aren’t late, you are actually at the best possible time to start orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment isn’t just concerned with the alignment of the teeth, but also with the facial structure, a correct bite, and the harmony between the muscles of the face and so we should wait until the molars are in, but you do not need to wait for all of the adult teeth to come in, you can start treatment with some milk teeth left. Even kindergarteners can start treatment with a trainer or a removable device, which train the muscles of the face and the teeth as well.
My son is in the second grade, and his teeth are round, beautiful and healthy, yet the dentist still suggested orthodontic treatment. Why does he need to get braces? Isn’t he just trying to rip me off?
Not all orthodontic problems are readily visible. Usually teeth that aren’t visibly misaligned have a problem of the bite that the dentist is trying to fix. A deep bite, crossbite or an open bite are all problems that orthodontics can fix, and your dentist may try and nip these problems in the bud by giving your child braces during the time when they are growing their permanent teeth in. Your dentist may also see that there is not enough space for the new, adult teeth, and may try and make room for them by using orthodontic braces.
How long does orthodontic treatment take? Is it true that it takes years for the teeth to become aligned?
There is a very wide spectrum with orthodontic treatment times. Factors that can influence how long it takes to align teeth are age, type of malocclusion, and of course how well the patient responds to treatment, not to mention patient cooperation, which is the single most important factor in any aspect of dentistry. The usual, run of the mill orthodontic treatment takes about one and a half to two years. This is for patients who already have all of their permanent teeth (except the wisdom teeth). There are many aesthetic options for braces, and some that are even invisible.