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…
Ask a Pediatric Dentist About Children’s Braces
Children’s braces are important in ensuring your child’s good dental health foundation. It is important to know what you can about braces. Understanding how the system works can help prepare you and your child for the appointment. Here are some questions about children’s braces that you can ask your pediatric dentist.
How do these braces work?
This dental straightening system works by forcing the teeth to move toward a specific position. The dentist will suggest a period for the braces to exert pressure on the teeth. Brackets will go on the front dental surfaces. Wires will then attach the brackets to each other. Elastics will fix the position of the wires. These tiny rubber bands will also help push the teeth into position.
After a month, the elastics will loosen. That is why the child must visit the dentist each month for wire adjustments and elastic replacements. Emergency visits may happen if brackets come off or elastics pop off. The visit must happen as soon as possible to prevent soft tissue injuries in the mouth.
Will children’s braces hurt?
There is often pressure and discomfort, especially when the braces are new or after an adjustment. The pain indicates that the braces are moving the child’s teeth into the proper positions. The child may find eating and speaking difficult because of this. The parent must talk to the child to make it clear that the pain is necessary for the braces to work.
The parent can also tell the child to feel around the braces before leaving the clinic. This can fix the problem right away. If the pain is unbearable for the child, the dentist can recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, ice packs, or popsicles to relieve the discomfort. Ortho wax can shield the soft tissues from scratches during the treatment.
How are these braces fitted?
There will be a consultation first. This will determine what type of braces the child can have. The dentist will check the child’s mouth carefully. The child may need to go through traditional dental impressions. This will give the dentist a tangible model of the child’s teeth and gum structures.
Are clear aligners as effective as braces?
Some children have mild to moderate alignment issues. The dentist can suggest either clear aligners or braces for them. In this case, clear aligners can be as effective as braces. But for kids with severe alignment and bite issues, traditional braces are necessary.
How can an individual care for braces?
The pediatric dentist can teach the parent and child how to care for the children’s braces. Good oral hygiene is necessary in making sure that the child does not develop cavities. Orthodontic picks, brushes, and floss can help make cleaning easier and more effective. Regular dental visits will allow the dentist to keep an eye on the child’s dental health. These appointments can also let the dentist know how the child’s teeth are progressing.
Will tooth extraction take place?
The dentist may recommend dental extractions if the child is suffering from overcrowding. This procedure will remove specific teeth. There will be available space for straightening the rest after the extractions. There could be impacted teeth that are causing the child pain. After full healing, the dentist can start dental straightening.
What are ideal foods for children with braces?
It can be difficult for children to eat what they want while wearing braces. The dentist may provide a list of foods that are allowable and not allowable during this treatment. The parent must keep an eye on what the child eats. Hard, chewy, and sticky foods could dislodge wires and brackets. Here are some foods that a child can eat with braces:
- Soft desserts, such as ice cream or gelatin
- Soups, smoothies, and other foods that can be slurped or sipped
- Shredded meat, yogurt, and mashed potatoes
What age is ideal for wearing children’s braces?
It will vary, depending on the case and the child’s age. Evaluating a child’s mouth for possible braces happens between seven and nine years of age. Early treatment will give the child a better chance at having a healthy mouth and body during the formative years. Wearing children’s braces can happen between 12 and 15 years of age.
Will the child still enjoy playing while wearing braces?
Children’s braces are fixed to the child’s teeth. An effective way to keep them intact is to shield them from trauma. The dentist will recommend putting a mouthguard on to protect the child’s smile. This dental appliance can help prevent oral injuries while playing sports or performing outdoor activities. The child can also get a night guard if the child has bruxism. The dental appliance will protect the brackets and teeth from damage.
Your child will need guidance while wearing children’s braces
Wearing children’s braces will be a new experience for your child. That is why you must work with your child and dentist during the treatment. Dental straightening can improve your child’s oral and dental health. Sticking to reminders and appointments can make the treatment faster and more effective.
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