Your child’s smile is meant to last them a lifetime, which is why it’s so important to make sure it’s as beautiful and functional as possible. Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite affect more than just appearances; they could also cause your little one a lot of pain and oral health problems in the future. To avoid these issues, it’s usually best to get braces in Pelham as soon as possible – but how will you know when it’s the right time?
How Can You Tell If Your Child Will Need Braces?
Braces remain one of the most effective orthodontic options available. They’re used to treat simple and complex cases of crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, jaw misalignment, crowded teeth, and several other conditions. Some orthodontic problems will be obvious on sight, but in other cases you’ll need a professional’s help. You should take your child to an orthodontist in Pelham when they turn seven; at that point, it’ll be easier to identify potential issues and predict whether braces will be needed.
When’s the Best Time for Braces?
While braces can actually be used almost any time, it’s usually best to wait until your child is between the ages of 8 and 14. At that point, most of the permanent teeth will have grown in. It’ll also be easier for braces to make the necessary adjustments while the child’s mouth is still developing. Some orthodontists might recommend interceptive treatment at an earlier age when your child still has mostly baby teeth; this can shorten the amount of time they’ll need to wear braces later.
Keep in mind that while orthodontic treatment is often recommended at a young age, braces can still be effective for older teens. In fact, a lot of orthodontic patients are adults!
How Long Will Your Child Needs to Wear Braces?
Every child is different and will need to wear braces for different periods of time. It mostly depends on the complexity of the problem and how receptive the mouth is to adjustment. In most cases it will take anywhere between 18 to 30 months. Afterwards, your child will receive a retainer for up to 2 years to make the final adjustments to the tissues surrounding the teeth; in some cases, a permanent retainer will be used to make sure that the bite doesn’t return to its previous alignment.
If you have concerns about the treatment or want to know about the different options available, speak with your orthodontist. You should also talk with your child and make sure that they know that even though braces are uncomfortable, they’re worth it in the long run. Don’t worry; they’ll thank you years from now when they still have a healthy, dazzling grin to show off!
About the Author
Dr. Patricia Domings is the dedicated orthodontist at Collins Dentistry for Children. She can help children and adults from all walks of life enjoy better smiles with traditional metal braces; for older patients worried about aesthetics, she can also provide clear braces and Invisalign. To schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (603) 635-1166.