How to Tell If Your Child Really Needs Braces

Many parents wonder if their children will grow to need braces later in life, which can be a difficult decision. Your dentist is a great resource for answering your questions, however, here are a few ways you can get the conversation started about your child’s orthodontic care.

What Causes a Bad Bite?

Typically, the main reason orthodontists recommend braces is to correct a malocclusion or a “bad bite”. This means that your little one’s teeth may be crooked, crowded, or turned. Braces can help your children’s top front teeth extend properly over the lower teeth, allowing the molars to line up as evenly as possible.

When Should My Child Recieve Orthodontic Treatment?

There are a few signs that you should look out for when deciding if your little one will need braces or not, including:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Jaws protrude or shift
  • Difficulty breathing or chewing
  • Cheek biting
  • Thumb sucking
  • Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth

Many of the issues children can face with their teeth that may lead to an orthodontic treatment are hereditary, such as: 

  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Jaw growth problems
  • Crowding in the mouth
  • Too much space between teeth

Fixing Gaps in Between Teeth

Between the ages of 6 and 8, a gap may develop in between your child’s two front teeth — known as incisors. If the gap does not go away on its own by the time your little one reaches 11 or 12, they made need braces to close the extra space.

Be sure to consult your pediatric dentist to decide if your child will need braces in the near future. Any preexisting dental concerns, such as decayed or missing teeth or periodontal disease, should be addressed before your child is fitted for their braces.

What is the Ideal Age for Braces?

Orthodontic treatments are done in two steps. The treatment done when some of the baby teeth are still present is called Phase-1. The last part of treatment after all the permanent teeth have erupted is called Phase-2. 

Your child should have a checkup at the orthodontist by the time they’re age 7. Ideally, children are fitted for their orthodontic treatments around the ages of 9 thru 14.  The sooner they seek orthodontic treatment, the sooner they can begin the road to a straighter smile.

What Braces Options Are There?

Wire Braces

Traditional wire braces have become much more flexible over recent years. These braces use small brackets that are bonded to the front of the teeth.  Typically, most children wear these braces from 12 to 36 months, with regular adjustments and cleanings monthly.

Clear Braces

Clear braces, including the popular brand Invisalign, are made of plastic-like or ceramic material that is nearly invisible. The braces apply a small amount of pressure to the teeth, which forces them to move into place. A typical treatment takes around 12 months.

What Can I Expect At My Child’s First Orthodontic Appointment?

Your pediatric dentist will walk you and your child through their first appointment, answering questions along the way to make your little one feel as comfortable as possible. Once your orthodontist has explained your treatment options, they’ll discuss how your braces will be applied, what to expect, as well as care instructions.

After this, your child will be fitted for their braces using molds. Once the braces are made specifically for their teeth, they will go back for another appointment to have the braces placed on the teeth.

Pediatric Orthodontist in Suffolk County

If you think your child is ready to go under orthodontic treatment, ask your dentist at your next appointment for more information.

For more information or to book an appointment, contact our offices:

MEDFORD OFFICE: 631 320 0880

COMMACK OFFICE: 631 486 6364

GARDEN CITY OFFICE: 516 280 6734