As your children grow up, they’ll slowly lose their baby teeth and get their adult ones. Most kids get their full set of adult teeth around age 12 or 13, so if your kids are younger than that, you may not be too worried about braces yet.
However, you’d be surprised to learn that braces and other types of orthodontic treatments can be done before all adult teeth are in. In fact, it may actually be better to get started before then.
In this article, you’ll learn all about braces for kids so you’ll have a better idea of if they’re right for your children or not.
All About Braces
When you think about braces, the metal ones may pop up in your mind straight away. You may have even had them in your earlier years. But technology’s made leaps and bounds, and there are many choices available today.
Below are a few examples of the types of braces your children can get.
These are the traditional braces with metal brackets and wires. However, the design for modern metal braces are much more improved than the ones from decades ago.
Today, the brackets are smaller, which means there’s less of a chance of them catching on the gums and causing pain. Also, archwires are now heat activated, which means the shifting of teeth is less painful and it’s quicker than in the past.
These braces are a good choice for those who have a limited budget, as they’re the least expensive type. But they’re also the most conspicuous ones as well. This can be mitigated by letting your kids choose beautiful colored bands to express their artistic sides.
These are almost exactly the same as metal braces, except the brackets are made of ceramic. This makes the brackets blend in with your teeth. Although metal wire is used in most cases, some dentists can put in tooth-colored wires so the ceramic braces are barely noticeable.
Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces and if your children don’t take good care of them, the brackets can get stained. However, they align teeth quicker than Invisalign, so this may be something to consider.
These are also just like metal braces. However, they go on the inside of your teeth instead of the outside.
These can be a good choice if your children are self-conscious about their teeth, but they can be hard to clean. Also, if their teeth are very crooked, they won’t be a good candidate for lingual braces.
These braces can also cause more discomfort at the start and has a longer treatment time than normal metal braces. In addition, they’re more expensive, so it may not be the optimal type to choose.
Invisalign braces are popular with both teenagers and adults because, as their name suggests, these braces are practically invisible. The treatment may take longer than with other types, but you get a custom set of clear plastic aligners. As your teeth shift, you’ll need to wear different aligners; you may get anywhere between 18 to 30 of them.
With each aligner, you wear them for about two weeks. Since they’re removable, you can take them out whenever you feel like, which is a huge advantage over other types of braces. There are also no restrictions on what you can eat or drink since there’s no staining to worry about.
While Invisalign sounds like the best choice, there are some caveats. Not only is it expensive, but it also can’t be used for serious cases. It’s also a treatment only available for older children (teenagers), so if your kids are young, they won’t be candidates for this type of braces.
What Age Can My Children Get Braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests you bring your children in for their first orthodontic appointment at age 7. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get braces at this age; it’s just an ideal time for an orthodontist to get a good assessment of how their teeth and jaws are growing.
You see, there are a number of issues that may occur: protruding teeth, underbites, overbites, crossbites, crowding of teeth, and abnormal jaw growth, to name a few. The earlier these problems are identified, the quicker they can be rectified. In the long run, this means less money and time spent, and less pain and discomfort for your children.
Since their jaws are still growing, early treatment can deter and correct issues like overbites. If you wait until they’ve finished with puberty to address those issues, it can be more time-consuming, costly, and painful to treat them.
Can My Kids Get Braces at Age 7?
Just because you should bring in your children to the orthodontist at age 7 doesn’t mean they should get braces. However, it’s entirely possible that after a thorough examination, the orthodontist will suggest starting with treatment straight away.
You may think getting braces as such a young age is a waste since your kids are still losing their baby teeth, but they do more than just straighten teeth. Braces can also fix bite problems and allow adult teeth to grow in more efficiently.
Take Care of Your Children’s Teeth
We’ve told you all about braces and what age you should bring your children in for an evaluation. Even if your kids’ teeth look straight enough, it’s still important that you have them see an orthodontist in addition to a dentist. This is because orthodontists can also determine if there are any other issues with the jaw that can be fixed before it gets too bad.
So take good care of your children’s teeth and consult with an orthodontist early on. By doing so, you can save time, money, and even reduce your kids’ pain and discomfort.
If your children are at the right age to see an orthodontist, please get in touch with us to make an appointment.