You, Your Child, and Malocclusions: A Few Things Every Parent Should Know About Braces

February 10, 2021

It’s common to see other children wearing braces to correct dental misalignments, but it’s different when it comes to selecting braces for your own child. With parents and their children in mind, here are a few facts that parents should be aware of before deciding whether their children really need braces. Read on as we answer most questions that parents usually have regarding teeth braces.

Braces are Not Just Cosmetic in their Effects

We are led into believing that braces are largely meant to straighten teeth so that we can have a more symmetrical smile. As children are still in their formative years, the introduction of braces at the right age can produce excellent results, adding symmetry to their face and smile. However, the benefits of straightening crooked teeth are far from being purely cosmetic.

Malocclusions can lead to a long list of oral health issues, especially when they are not treated properly, and at the right age. Some of the more common health problems associated with crooked teeth are found in both children and adults, which include:

  • Early onset of tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth decay and cavities
  • Gum disease and halitosis
  • Loss of gum tissue
  • Loss of tooth and parts of the jawbones
  • Headaches
  • Inability to pronounce words properly; speech impediments
  • Inability to chew properly
  • Indigestion, acidity, and stomach infections
  • Malnutrition associated developmental problems

Getting braces for your child is not just advised; it should be considered mandatory, provided that your dentist really does think that braces can help your child avoid health problems.

Parents Can Wear Braces Too

If you are not particularly comfortable wearing heavy, metallic braces at work, that’s completely relatable and the good news is, you don’t really have to! Parents can wear clear aligners that will not even be visible from a distance, and they can easily be taken out before attending a social call.

Straight My Teeth also offers a unique NightOnly clear teeth braces for adults to keep their teeth straightening equipment as private as they wish them to be. As for answers to common questions such as how much do clear braces cost in the UK, or how do braces work on adult teeth, pay a visit to the Straight My Teeth website and you might just be pleasantly surprised by the answers.

Screening for Braces Vs Getting Braces

Before a child reaches the age of 6 or 7,they should already be screened by an orthodontist to know whether any possibility of growing crooked teeth is present. However, that’s only the screening process, and depending on diagnosis, the orthodontist will take steps towards minimising chances of malocclusions, or at least their severity in the future. However, that’s just the screening stage, and at that time, the child will still be too young for teeth braces.

Depending on the particular child’s dental growth, the severity of the misalignments, and general tooth orientation, the minimum age range for braces will vary from 9 – 14. In most cases though, your child should be ready to get his/her braces by ten. Once the braces have been applied, they will stay on for a time period of 12 months – 36 months.The actual time necessary will be adjusted in accordance with your child’s personal progress. 

Do note that throughout this period, the orthodontist will need to adjust those braces every 2-3 months since it is a necessary part of the straightening process. Unlike adults, children’s oral structures go through rapid and immense changes as they continue to grow towards adulthood.

Children’s Braces are Not Nearly as Uncomfortable and Painful as they used to be

If you do not have fond memories of teeth straightening as a child, then you are not the only one out there! However, those metallic teeth cages are a thing of the past, as dental science has come a long way since those early days of painfully tight teeth braces. Modern wires are significantly more elastic and the whole thing weighs a fraction of what they used to. Provided that you have the budget, your child may also get to choose between:

  • Self-ligating braces that can slide and adjust on their own to adjust with jaw and teeth movements
  • Invisible aligners that fit over your teen’s (not young children) teeth without wires, keeping the whole apparatus out of sight

It is best not to get the child’s hopes up too high right away though, as their orthodontist may not consider it appropriate to treat the condition with anything but modern metal braces. Wait till you talk with the orthodontist to know what would work best for fixing the crooked teeth since that holds priority over everything else. 

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