The next time you bring your kids from your home in Bath, NY to the family dentist, you might want to ask your doctor about braces. Your child may or may not need them, and there’s no hard-and-fast rule as to when children could – or should – get this dental treatment. Still, it’s always good to check whether kids’ jawbones and teeth and developing as they should.
All into place
That’s to say that a dentist should examine whether a child’s teeth are forming in good alignment. This doesn’t only mean checking if teeth line up neatly; it also means seeing if the child has teeth that are crooked, extra, missing, overlapping, or protruding. He or she might also have ones crowding the mouth.
Issues like these can come about quite naturally. They can also stem from factors like thumb-sucking or the prolonged retention of baby teeth. However, they might also be caused by problems with jaw growth, a dental disease, or dental/oral deformities due to accidents.
The important thing is to identify issues as early as possible, while a child’s teeth are still growing and not yet fixed in problematic positions. The benefits are not only cosmetic; with teeth properly in place, a child can avoid dental health risks for tooth decay, stress on the jawbone, and gum disease. Aligned teeth can also help them chew and speak without difficulties.
Braces, and then some
You can ask the dentist about braces because these are the most common form of orthodontic treatment (the term for correcting the positioning of the teeth). But orthodontic treatments also include bands, brackets, retainers and special headgear. Your child’s specific condition – if he or she has any –would determine the best appliance to use.
Some children (and adults) might be resistant to wearing braces since these cause discomfort and soreness in the teeth and mouth. As bits of food get caught in or around the wires, they can also get inconvenient. (It would be well and good for parents if 12-year-olds can clean these themselves, but imagine helping kids as young as six with their braces!)
The good news is that modern braces are much easier – and more fun – to use. Nowadays, children can enjoy sporting brace bands with their favorite colors. They can also get clear, removable, aligners, like Invisalign, which are virtually invisible and keep their dental treatment discreet.
Make sure to ask your dentist for the best available options, on top of other questions you might have on promoting your child’s dental health.
Braces for Children, Invisalign.com
Early Orthodontics May Mean Less Treatment Later, Colgate.com