Braces can help create a straight, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Ideally, any corrections to the bite, jaw, or mouth structure should be performed during adolescence while the mouth is still forming. Here is what you need to know before your child begins treatment with braces.
Does My Child Need Braces?
You might be wondering if your child is a good candidate for orthodontics, and that is a decision made in partnership with your dentist. Braces are primarily used to correct improper bites. If you child has an overbite or underbite, braces may be recommended along with another orthodontic appliance to gently shift jaw position. Additionally, braces are used to correct gaps between teeth as well as teeth that are growing in at a crooked angle.
The Importance of Starting Early
Braces are more effective in younger patients because the jaw structure is still malleable. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of orthodontic treatment cases typically begin between the ages of 8 and 14. Your child’s particular course of treatment is going to be dependent on a number of factors including mouth structure and the progress of erupting adult teeth.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic examination at about age 7. At that age, most primary teeth have erupted and issues such as overcrowding and an uneven bite will be apparent. This, of course, does not mean your child will get braces right away. Our pediatric dentist in 20003 can provide referrals for this type of examination.
Braces Can Improve Your Child’s Life
It may be difficult for a kid to imagine an extended period of time without being able to eat sticky, gummy foods or chew bubblegum; however, for the right candidate, orthodontics provides many benefits to overall health and well-being. By straightening teeth and closing gaps, your child’s gum health will be improved. Braces can prevent dental complications later in life such as the need for more advanced corrective procedures. Your child’s confidence will also be boosted once they see the results of a straight, beautiful smile.
We invite you and your child to discuss the benefits of having braces with our doctor. During your appointment, we will provide a complete examination and make a recommendation for a treatment plan that will work best for your child.
Our caring, professional team can schedule your child’s appointment at our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC as soon as you get in touch.