Braces have become a common way of teeth straightening and they are best placed at early age, ideally between 10 and 14 years of age. The treatment is most effective during this period because teeth are more conductive to straightening, which prevents further complications. But before getting your child into an orthodontist’s chair, it’s useful to understand the nature of this treatment and prepare eventual questions for your chosen dentist.
Acknowledge Both Health and Aesthetic Benefits
Although first thing that comes to our minds when talking about braces is correcting an unattractive, crooked smile – they are of even bigger importance when it comes to ensuring a healthy bite. The problems of underbites, overbites, and crossbites can lead to further health complications. Teeth might start wearing or get damaged, which can affect the gums as well. In the worst case scenario, uneven teeth and bite issues can cause difficulties with jaw development. Sometimes, genetic is to blame, but it can also be caused by thumb sucking or an early loss of the permanent teeth, which makes the remaining teeth realign.
There Are Various Options
Both technology and design has progressed, so enabling your child a healthy bite and a good looking smile has never been easier. This brings parents a relief, especially when it comes to dealing with teenagers. During the sensitive years in puberty, they are extremely self-conscious about how they look. Traditional wire braces are not the only option: there are solutions that are practically invisible so your child doesn’t have to struggle with insecurities. Such is the invisalign which has a reputation of shortening the treatment time up to 50%. It’s good to go through the invisalign vs braces review and check other options, as well. Basically, you have two big groups, ceramic and metallic solutions, so make sure to ask your dentist about the pros and cons of both, as well as a recommended method for your child’s needs.
Some Pain or Discomfort is Inevitable
Given the fact braces gradually shift teeth position, your child’s mouth might feel a bit sore. In some cases, the wire might fall out and damage the gums. It can take a bit of time to adapt. To ease the pain, try giving your child some safe over-the-counter painkillers, such as Tylenol or Advil. During the treatment, some diet adjustments will also have to be made. This includes hard cookies and crackers, corn on the cob, ice, and popcorn. The food remains can get stuck in braces, so make sure your child’s oral hygiene remains impeccable.
The Average Treatment is Two Years
Most of the treatments last between 18 and 24 months, so you should prepare your child for it. After this time period, braces come off, but then your child gets a retainer, crafted specifically according to the mold of his mouth. This is needed so the teeth stay in place. During the period of treatment, your child will have to see the orthodont at least once a month, to ensure the pressure braces are putting on the teeth is steady and optimal. The wires get adjusted when needed and your child needs to report if it experiences some unusual pain or difficulties.
Wearing Braces is Not Limiting in Any Way
There is a misconception about braces being limiting in means of allowed activities. For example, your child doesn’t have to give up on sports, but out of precaution – a mouthguard should be worn. These are usually made of durable plastic and it keeps the braces and teeth protected. This is good practice for team sports such as football, volleyball or basketball, so that your child’s mouth is safe from heavy blows.
Support your child during the treatment, especially because they can be sensitive in the process of adapting to change, i.e. wearing braces. Underline that it is for their own good and teach them patience, for a wonderful and healthy smile is a prize worth waiting for.