Children and teens need braces for many different reasons other than a crooked smile. Overcrowding, and overbite (where the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, or an underbite, when the lower jaw is bigger), can also be reasons to begin the process of wearing dental braces. These problems are sometimes caused by different things like losing baby teeth early on in life, a childhood accident, or a habit like using a sippy cup for too long or thumb sucking. However, most of the time it’s simple genetics that cause the issues that need dental braces.
Most of the time, a need for braces will be noticed at a general cleaning or dental appointment. There isn’t a specific age that dictates the need for an appointment to discuss braces. In fact, some children are ready as young as 7 years old and others won’t be ready until they are a teen ager. In addition, it’s not only children that need to wear dental braces. In many cases, adults can experience pain, headaches and other issues due to misalignment and the need for braces.
We will take X-rays of the mouth and teeth to see how the teeth are positioned and whether any permanent teeth still need to come in. At our office, we may make a mold (or impression) of the teeth by pressing a tray of slimy and sticky material into the top and bottom teeth. When the mold is taken out and the material hardens, we will have an exact replica of the mouth and will be able to better understand how to repair the problem.
Type of Braces
Most of the time, kids and teens simply need braces with brackets, wires, and rubber bands. The brackets are glued to the teeth and are connected by a wire and tiny rubber bands that hold the wire on. At each visit to Dynamic Dental, the wire will be tightened bit by bit to gradually guide the teeth in to the shape and line where they need to be.
Every once in a while, a child may need other devices like the dreaded headgear, but don’t worry, most headgear is only worn while sleeping. Headgear uses a horseshoe-shaped wire that attaches to the back teeth and is a stronger method of moving the teeth in to the proper position. Other times, we may need to remove a tooth to create sufficient space in the mouth.
The average amount of time that braces will need to be worn is about two years. After the braces are removed, a retainer made of a small, hard piece of plastic with metal wires will prevent the teeth from moving back out of place.
If you think it might be time for your first talk with us about braces, schedule an appointment today!