With recent advancements in orthodontics and dentistry, more and more children are receiving dental care to help their adult teeth grow properly. This kind of treatment is both proactive and reactive, aiming to fix one problem now so their teeth can stay healthy for the rest of your child’s life. The best time to fix dental problems is the younger, formative years.
The same is true of braces. It seems like most children have braces, and you might be starting to wonder if your child needs braces, too. So, should you start to consider braces for your children?
Does Your Child Need Braces?
While it’s true that many situations where a child may need braces can seem ambiguous, there are a few hard and fast rules when it comes to considering the orthodontic treatment. Some of these rules include:
· Irregular loss of baby teeth
· Shifting jaw
· Involuntary biting of the cheek or roof of the mouth
· Difficulty chewing and/or biting
· Teeth and jaw that look strangely proportioned
· Teeth that are crowed or seem to be misplaced
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in your child, it may be time to consult with a dentist or orthodontist about braces. The benefits of braces are also numerous, and include positives such as these:
· Positive growth influence in the jaw
· Improved self-confidence and self-image
· Improved speech
· Improved ability to eat and chew efficiently
Again, these benefits are only a small number amongst the vast array positives when it comes to braces. Suffice it to say, braces can help your child enjoy a happy, healthy mouth for a long time.
If you think your child may benefit from braces, what do you do next? You should set up a consultation visit with an orthodontist in your area. Consultation visits like these can help you better understand how braces work and ways they can help your child’s specific situation.
Your orthodontist will walk you through a plan so you know exactly what steps you’ll need to take to finish the process. You’ll also likely receive cost information, so you can be as informed as possible.
The Typical Braces Plan
So, what does an orthodontic treatment plan look like? If you think your child should get braces, take a look at what his or her treatment plan might look like:
1. Evaluation – First, your dentist or orthodontist will perform an evaluation of your child’s teeth and overall oral health. This evaluation will typically involve X-rays, bite impressions, and photographs to ensure everything is documented and considered. Your child may also have a plaster mold taken of his or her teeth.
2. Application – After everything has been evaluated and a plan created, your dentist or orthodontist will apply the braces to your child’s teeth. There are a vast number of types of braces, but you can rest assured that your child will receive a treatment that is tailored to his or her needs.
3. Removal and Retention – After the treatment has been completed, the orthodontist or dentist will remove the braces and create a retainer for your child. This retainer is used to keep the teeth in place.