Are you concerned that your child may need braces? There are some common questions that parents consider when it comes to orthodontic care for their kids. If you live in the Oak Lawn or surrounding area and are considering braces for kids, take the time to do your research to ensure that your child is getting the best type of treatment for their needs.
Why Might Children Need Braces?
Braces for kids can be used to correct a range of tooth and jaw problems, including teeth that are crooked or overlap, too many teeth crowded into the mouth, overbite and underbite. While some issues that require braces are obvious to parents, others are first recognized at our office during a routine visit.
At What Age Should My Child Get Braces?
This varies among individuals, depending on the extent of orthodontic treatment needed and other factors. Most experts recommend that children have their first visit with an orthodontist around the time that the permanent teeth start arriving, usually at about age seven. While the child might not be ready for braces, our specialist will be able to identify potential issues and develop a long-term treatment plan.
What are the Different Types of Braces?
Kids usually need braces that include brackets, wires and rubber bands. While metal brackets were once standard, less noticeable porcelain and clear brackets are available today. This is a popular option for teens.
Another option is clear plastic trays called aligners that adjust the placement of teeth, but can be removed for eating and other activities. However, these are only effective for certain issues.
How Long Will My Child Need to Wear Braces?
Although treatment time varies among individuals, the average length of time for childhood braces is about two years. Most kids need to follow up their orthodontic treatment with a retainer, a special device worn in the mouth that keeps the teeth from moving back to their original positions.
What Type of Care is Involved with Braces for Kids?
You’ll need to monitor your child’s eating habits to make sure they aren’t consuming foods that could damage braces, such as popcorn, hard candy and gum. Because teeth with braces can be harder to get clean, good dental hygiene is essential. This includes brushing after every meal, flossing each day and keeping regular dental appointments to check for cavities. Your child will also have to visit our office regularly for adjustments.
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth, talk to the team at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics about braces for kids. This orthodontic visit is the first step to a straight smile in adulthood. Contact us today to book an appointment at our office in Oak Lawn.