Braces for Children

While braces are commonly associated with the teenage years, some children can benefit from interceptive orthodontics before they enter their teens. The goal of interceptive orthodontic treatment is to prevent more severe issues later by addressing the conditions early. This type of treatment provides the orthodontist with more control regarding where the child’s permanent teeth erupt by addressing the structure of the teeth and jaw while the child’s baby, or primary teeth are still present.

Typically by the age of seven, certain parameters of growth and development will usually enable the orthodontist to determine how the child’s teeth and jaws will continue to develop as the permanent teeth begin to emerge. In some instances, a child’s pediatric dentist may identify issues at an early age and refer your child to our office.

The Benefits of Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment include:

  • The opportunity to correct habits that could present developmental and dental problems later, such as a tongue thrust or thumb sucking
  • An improved prognosis regarding how the child’s permanent teeth develop
  • Reduce the risk of protruding teeth getting injured
  • Opportunity to guide jaw growth to accommodate teeth as they emerge
  • Creation of a more functional and pleasing arrangement of lips, teeth, and face
  • Alleviate the potential for more invasive dental corrections in the future
  • Increase confidence and self-esteem

Even if your child does not require orthodontic treatment at this time, a consultation with our office can provide the opportunity for your child to become more comfortable with the thought of working with an orthodontist should future treatment be deemed necessary. Our goal is to provide your child with a smile for a lifetime.

If early orthodontic treatment should be necessary for your child, a two-phase approach may be necessary. The first phase of treatment will begin immediately while your child still has most of his or her primary teeth. The second phase of treatment occurs when your child is older. This treatment will be based on your child’s corrective dental needs at the time. The second phase of treatment may be beneficial for moving permanent teeth into their final position and continuing to improve the alignment and function of the teeth.

Reasons for an Orthodontic Evaluation

There are many reasons to have your child’s mouth examined by an orthodontist at an early age. A thorough evaluation will allow the orthodontist to determine how the mouth and teeth are developing while also allowing the opportunity for interceptive treatment, if needed.

Conditions that may result in the need for early interceptive treatment include:

  • Cross bites
  • Open bites
  • Excessive crowding
  • Excessive protrusion of front teeth
  • Spacing
  • Missing Teeth
  • Teeth that do not emerge in the correct sequence
  • Displacement of permanent teeth

Treating Malocclusions with Braces

Braces are an option that orthodontists may use for treating malocclusions or bad bites. In a perfect bite, the teeth are straight with just enough space in between the teeth. The back molars should meet in a way that allows efficient chewing with the top teeth slightly overlapping the bottom teeth. Unfortunately, most people do not have a perfect bite. Not only can misaligned teeth be unattractive, but they can also cause problems with chewing, biting, and speaking properly. While physical appearance is one of the most common reasons for seeking orthodontic treatment, treating poorly aligned teeth can also help to improve dental health.

Causes of Bad Bites

Bad bites can be attributed to a number of causes. Most people have bad bites because they are inherited, but bad bites can also result from thumb sucking. Regardless of the cause, bad bites are rarely alike.

How Braces and Orthodontic Treatment Work

Orthodontic treatment is based on pressure and time. Braces as well as other orthodontic appliances are used to apply pressure to the jaws and teeth over a period of time. Over the last few years, improvements in dental technology has decreased the amount of treatment time required. Additionally, with the advent of technologically advanced wires, most patients will only need to see their orthodontist about every six to eight weeks.

While braces are among the most common orthodontic appliances for children, orthodontists may also use other appliances to align jaws and move teeth to the desired position. Headgear can help to line up the jaws. This is a type of appliance that attaches to the braces and wraps around the head or neck. In some instances, rubber bands may be used to move teeth into the desired direction.

Does Your Child Need Braces?

A diagnostic X-ray along with a complete examination by an orthodontist will help determine if your child requires treatment. Follow up visits to determine the appropriate stage of early intervention will provide the best chance of avoiding further complications with their teeth and jaws as they grow.

While braces are among the most common orthodontic appliances for children, orthodontists may also use other appliances to align jaws and move teeth to the desired position. Headgear can help to line up the jaws. This is a type of appliance that attaches to the braces and wraps around the head or neck. In some instances, rubber bands may be used to move teeth into the desired direction.

Active Treatment in Braces

When your child first receives his or her braces, there will be a period of adjustment. Expect some soreness or discomfort. Some children develop sores inside their mouths. This is completely normal and is only temporary. Discomfort should dissipate as your child becomes accustomed to wearing braces. Most children no longer even notice they are wearing braces after a period of time.

Caring for Your Child’s Braces

After your child has been fitted for braces, our team will provide you and your child with special instructions on the care and maintenance of their appliances.

Retainers

Once your child’s orthodontic treatment has come to an end, he or she may need to wear a retainer. Many children need to wear a retainer on a full-time basis for several months after their braces are removed. After that, he or she may need to continue wearing a retainer at night. It is important to note that retainers are just as important as braces in your child’s orthodontic treatment. With proper use, retainers can assist in holding your child’s teeth in the new, correct positions during the formation of new bone around your child’s teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about early interceptive orthodontic treatment and braces for kids, please contact our office at 469-362-6820 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We would be happy to meet with you and your child to discuss possible treatment options.

mBrace Frisco Orthodontics

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