If you had braces as a child, you may wonder if your kids will need braces, too. Sometimes, crooked teeth might be hereditary, but other times they can be caused by an injury, thumb sucking, or an early loss of baby teeth. Taking your child to your dentist for regular examinations is important so that the development of your child's teeth can be monitored. If problems with misalignment, bad bite, or crooked teeth are noted, then you should take your child to an orthodontist for further examination and treatment. Here are some things to know.
There Isn't A Set Age For Braces
While you may want to take your child to an orthodontist for an examination as soon as all the teeth are in, your orthodontist might not recommend braces right away. Each child is different, so there is no set time for a child to begin wearing braces. The orthodontist considers what is best for your child. Your child might get braces in elementary school, but waiting until the middle or high school years is also common.
However, getting braces put on during childhood instead of waiting until adulthood is usually better since your child's teeth and jaw continue to grow through the teen years. This makes it easier to shift the position of the teeth with braces.
But, just like it's never too early to get braces, it's also never too late. Your child can get braces as an adult, but that just means they have to spend years until then with teeth that might embarrass them.
Brackets And Bands Are Still Popular For Kids
Although clear aligner trays are very popular with adults and older teens, the traditional bracket and band braces are often best for younger kids. These are placed in the mouth and not removed until the treatment period is over so there is no worry about your child taking out an aligner and losing it or not wearing the braces as long as they're supposed to. These braces have kid-friendly band colors and the brackets can be clear or white, so they aren't as ugly as the metal braces you may have worn as a kid.
While your child might have trouble getting adjusted to the braces initially, they won't interfere with your child's ability to participate in sports or lead a normal lifestyle. However, avoiding certain foods will be necessary because the braces can be hard to clean after eating sticky candies.
Your child might have to wear braces for a couple of years and wear a retainer for much longer after that. If your child has the braces put in early, then he or she will have straight teeth and an attractive smile by early adulthood when appearance in college or for job interviews is important. For more information, speak with a pediatric orthodontist.