In 2018, 4.8 million people in American wore braces. Although you can get them at any age, we usually associate braces with our childhood and rightly so: 78% of those 4.8 million people were under the age of 18.
At first, it might be a struggle for your kid to deal with the braces. They might feel some discomfort and soreness as their mouth gets used to everything that’s going on. And we all know how frustrating it is to have a toothache, as mild as it is.
But early orthodontic treatment can prevent them from having to deal with other (and worse) oral issues in the future.
Eventually, your kid will warm up to the idea of using those braces and, who knows, one they may even say those magic words… “Thank you, Mommy and Daddy!”
Don’t believe us? Well, the following benefits of braces speak for themselves.
6 Benefits of Braces
Wearing braces makes your teeth get aligned – that’s common knowledge. But there are so many more amazing benefits that come with straight teeth.
From your kid’s health to their appearance and self-esteem, braces can improve their life in many ways.
Even if they don’t see it now, as they grow up and start appreciating their beautiful smile and healthy teeth, they’ll be very grateful for their braces.
You might even know this first hand if you wore braces as a child. Sure, it may have caused you to throw a few tantrums. But look at that smile now!
They Improve Your Kid’s Ability to Chew Food
If your kid needs to wear braces, they probably struggle with chewing and biting their food. Misaligned teeth cause misaligned bites and that leads to jaw pain and muscle stiffness in the area.
Anyone with kids knows how hard it can be to make them eat properly and this definitely doesn’t help.
Wearing braces will align your kid’s teeth and, consequently, their bite. Moreover, as they chew better, their digestion also improves, since they can actually tear the aliments into tiny bits as they should.
They Improve Your Kid’s Speech
Some children with misaligned teeth struggle with their speech. Whistling when making certain sounds is one of the most common issues, caused by the gap between upper and lower teeth.
This problem can cause self-esteem issues, as they realize that they don’t sound like the other kids.
With braces, the gaps between teeth slowly disappear and so do the speech impairments.
They Prevent Bone Erosion
The gaps mentioned before also mean that some teeth will have no support. Eventually, this will cause your kid’s jawbone and gums to start eroding.
Plus, their misaligned bites put too much pressure on their jaw, which doesn’t help.
As braces align the child’s teeth, the whole mouth starts working in harmony and the jawbone rebuilds itself into the way it should be.
They Help Avoid Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
It’s very hard to properly brush and floss your teeth when they are misaligned because there are spots that are simply too hard to reach. As plaque and bacteria build up, your kid’s oral health deteriorates and this can cause them to struggle with other dental problems.
In short, wearing braces is a synonym of fewer chances of cavities, a.k.a fewer visits to the dentist. Everybody wins!
They Help Avoid Teeth Chipping
When you have aligned teeth and you close your mouth, your lips are able to cover all the teeth.
This doesn’t happen when you have protruded teeth. Even if your kid is able to cover all their teeth, it probably takes some effort to keep their mouth completely closed.
When they relax and don’t think about it, their mouth naturally opens. Their teeth become unprotected and the chances of damage increase.
With the braces, the teeth move to the right place and it becomes easier for the kid to naturally close their mouth.
They Improve Your Kid’s Self-Confidence
Your kid’s health is important. But there’s no denying that using braces influences your kid’s looks as well, which to them is just as important.
Having crooked, protruded teeth can make your kid feel too self-conscious to smile. And children should be smiling as often as possible!
With the new smile that the braces will give them, their self-confidence will improve. This means better mental health and a better social life, as they’ll have an easier time enjoying their time with other kids, instead of worrying about how their smile looks.
But… How Can I Know If My Kid Needs Braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you take your kid to their first orthodontic evaluation when they’re 7. At this age, it’s possible for the doctor to assess if there are any problems that should be tackled fast.
Plus, you should take your kid dentist to the dentist at least twice a year to stay constantly updated about the state of their teeth.
But there are also signs that you can look out for:
- Misaligned, crowded or protruding teeth.
- Mouth breathing.
- Early, late or irregular loss of milk teeth.
- A hard time chewing.
- Jaws that make sounds or shift.
Your Wallet Will Thank You Too
Making sure your kid’s teeth are growing as they should and that they start orthodontist treatment if and when needed is also great for your wallet. Since you avoid future issues and visits to the dentist, you end up saving money as well.
Now that you know about all the benefits of braces, you might be wondering if your child needs to wear them. We can let you know!
So if your kid is at the right age to see an orthodontist or if you notice any of the signs we listed before, we invite you to get in touch with us via e-mail or phone call and schedule an appointment!