If your child needs braces, you may have some questions or anxiety about the process. To help answer some of these frequently asked questions, Smiles for Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics has compiled this FAQ – but don’t forget you can always contact one of our orthodontists for more information or to ask a question you don’t see here.
Most of us aren’t born with perfect teeth. However, straight, properly aligned teeth can have a long-term positive effect on a person’s oral health. Braces correct issues like crooked teeth, gaps between teeth and crowded teeth, all of which can lead to tooth decay later in life if left untreated. Perfect teeth also create a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime!
It’s best to treat dentition problems while a child’s mouth is developing. Correcting crooked teeth and misalignments at a young age prevents further problems from forming later in life, and young jaws are still growing – making it easier to modify their growth to correct problems. If adult teeth begin to erupt in a crooked or crowded fashion, straightening them immediately will leave room for later teeth to come in correctly, preventing overcrowding and other issues.
Today’s braces are more comfortable than those you may have worn yourself as a child. There will be some discomfort in the beginning until a child adjusts to wearing them. When braces are tightened or adjusted, there may also be some discomfort for a few hours. This can be alleviated with a mild painkiller. If your child experiences irritation from a bracket or loose wire, this discomfort can be temporarily relieved by simply applying wax to the area until you can be seen by our Orthodontist for adjustments.
Different children will have different orthodontic needs. Depending on the type and severity of dentition issues being corrected, braces may be necessary for as long as three years, although treatments of one year or less are common as well. At your initial consultation the Orthodontist will put together a complete custom treatment plan based on the nature of your child’s alignment issue. At this time you will know give or take a few months how long to expect treatment to last.
In addition to the need for routine orthodontic visits, braces do require some basic upkeep to ensure their effectiveness. The most important thing is to keep them clean, and to follow the orthodontist’s instructions, especially when it comes time to wear a retainer. Learn more here or call your orthodontist for specific questions.