Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and…
A Dentist for Kids Discusses Braces for Children
A dentist for kids can help straighten your child's smile. Braces have been used to straighten teeth for hundreds of years. They can address a wide range of orthodontic issues like crooked teeth, crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Braces work by applying gentle force on teeth covered with them, slowly pushing them to an improved alignment.
Our pediatric dentist recommends performing teeth straightening treatments early on since a child's jaw and facial structures are still soft, making them easier to manipulate than an adult's hardened bone structures. Treatment with braces can start as early as age seven.
Getting braces from a dentist for kids
Braces have two main components: brackets that are cemented to each of the patient's teeth and wires that link the brackets in each dental arch. The tighter these wires are, the more force the appliance applies to the child's teeth. The force gradually moves the patient's teeth to the targeted position over time.
Braces can be used to fix a wide range of orthodontic issues, from those caused by poor positioning of a person's teeth to those caused by jaw abnormalities. Treatment times are typically anywhere between 12 to 36 months.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends bringing your child in to have their bite assessed by the time they are seven. At this point, most of the child's permanent teeth should have erupted, so issues like the alignment of their teeth or bite should be noticeable at that point.
Children sometimes struggle with the idea of wearing braces for an extended period since that means they cannot enjoy sticky and gummy foods during their treatment. Traditional braces take over a person's smile since the metal brackets and wires cover a significant portion of their teeth. Some would say they look like railroad tracks on a person's teeth.
Fortunately, modern braces are a lot sleeker and less conspicuous than their older counterparts. They can also be customized with cool colors and logos to suit your child's personal style. Clear aligners can also be used to address some teeth alignment issues, but dentists rarely recommend them for children since they require a high level of commitment to the treatment. These appliances must be worn 22 hours daily for treatment to be effective. Clear aligners are typically recommended for teenagers who can handle that level of responsibility.
Installing braces is unique for each patient since all people have different mouths. Here is what the procedure typically looks like:
- The dentist for kids starts the procedure by cleaning and drying the child's teeth
- Adhesives are applied to the patient's teeth so brackets can be attached to each one
- Wires are then used to connect all the brackets in each dental arch
- Elastic bands are then used to secure the appliance
The entire procedure takes about one to two hours. Most patients experience some discomfort after braces are placed as the soft tissues in their mouth adjust to the appliance. The discomfort should go away in a week as the child gets used to the appliance.
We can straighten your child's teeth
Your child might need braces if they have poorly aligned teeth. Call or drop by our Richmond clinic to set up an appointment with our pediatric dentist.
Check out what others are saying about our Dentist For Kids services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
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