Braces for Children
What is orthodontics ?
It is the dental specialty that focuses on the development and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite and jaws. An orthodontist also have specialized training in facial abnormalities and disorders of the jaw. You may be referred to an orthodontics by your dentist. The American Dental Association recommends that every child receives an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7.
Why choose an orthodontics treatment.
The following may be one of the reasons why you see an orthodontics.
- Misaligned, crooked or crowded teeth
- Open bite
- Extra teeth
- An overbite
- Missing teeth
- Misaligned or incorrect jaw position
- A disorder of the jaw joint
At what age are braces appropriate in children ?
The ideal age for braces and orthodontic treatment in most cases is between 10 and 14 years of age.
What are the different type of braces ?
Braces are also known as fixed orthodontic appliances. They come in 3 varieties .
- Brackets, metal or plastic, clear or tooth-colored, that are bonded to teeth.
- Lingual-type brackets that attach to the back of teeth, hidden from view.
- Bands that cover most of the teeth with metal bands that wrap around the teeth.
All the 3 use wires to push the teeth to the desired position. Clear removable teeth aligners may also be an option.
Oral health care and braces
These tips will help eliminate or reduce any oral problems while your child uses braces.
- It is important that your child brushes his teeth very well after very meal with soft-bristled toothbrush as food becomes easily lodges in the braces. You may need a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or sooner if the bristles are broken or frayed.
- It is important that your child flosses between the teeth and the braces. Use a floss threader carefully to floss the under arch wire.
- Your child should see the dentist or orthodontics every 6 months for cleaning.
- Limit your child’s sugar and salt intake. This is because debris left from these foods may turn into damaging acids which may be harmful to the teeth and gum and promote plaque formation.
- Avoid hard and sticky snacks that may be difficult to remove from the orthodontic equipment in your child’s mouth. These include hard candy, popcorn, nuts and sticky foods such as chewing gum, caramel and other chewy candy.
Ask your doctor about fluoride vanish application around the braces to minimize white spots on the teeth after the braces come off.
The basics of braces. Nemours Foundation. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/braces.html. Accessed June 21st, 2019
Children and Orthodontics. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/children-and-orthodontics#1. Accessed January 21st, 2019