Starting Treatment: Your Ultimate Braces Guide

Starting Orthodontic Treatment doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Here is our ultimate guide to beginning the process.

Do you know how to tell if your child needs braces or not?

When your child is having problems with his or her teeth, it becomes quite confusing as well as intimidating since in most cases it is hard to know which steps to take. According to most orthodontists, parents have a problem knowing when their child needs braces or even the right time to take them to see an orthodontist. Be sure to know when the right time to visit an orthodontist is, as well as how to tell if your child will benefit from braces.

Signs that will help you know your kid needs braces

If you are not an orthodontist or a dentist, there are various signs that will guide you on how to tell if your child needs braces. Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Difficulty when it comes to biting or chewing.
  • Abnormal loss of teeth. Meaning a child may lose teeth either earlier than expected or later than usual.
  • Clogged teeth or in some cases the teeth are not placed in their right position.
  • Crowding of teeth. This means that there is not enough space for all teeth, thus the teeth look crooked.
  • Teeth and jaws protruding such that they are not comparative to the face.
  • An overbite or crossbite. An overbite simply means that the teeth are overlapping either vertically or horizontally, whereas a crossbite is where the lower tooth is in front of the upper tooth.
  • An open bite which in most cases causes speech problems. An open bite is where all the front teeth are not close to each other.

With the above signs in mind, you can tell whether your child needs braces or not.

What to do next

After finding out your child needs braces, you will need to know which types of braces. You need to explore all your options before deciding which one is best for your particular situation.
Here are the four most common types of braces on the market:

Metal Braces

Most people are familiar with metal braces. These are the least expensive in cost, but they are also the most noticeable. And for this reason, many people prefer to go a different route.

Ceramic Braces

These are similar to metal braces because they are the same size and shape. However, ceramic braces are clear or tooth-colored which helps them to appear less visible. Additionally, ceramic braces work much faster than the invisible plastic braces do.

Lingual Braces

You will find that lingual braces are similar to metal braces as well; however, they are inserted on the underside of the teeth. The positive is they can’t be seen when you open your mouth. But, they can be difficult to keep clean, are more expensive and uncomfortable (at least at first), and the adjustments take longer than traditional braces do.
Additionally, the lingual braces might not be appropriate in all cases. For example, lingual braces aren’t ideal for people with small teeth because they can sometimes make it hard to talk, they get in the way of the tongue, and have the potential to cause injuries to your mouth.
However, if you decide to go with the lingual braces, make sure you find an orthodontist who has experience with installing them as not all orthodontists are well-versed in this type of installation.

Invisible Braces

Invisible braces, also known as Invisalign, are made of clear plastic forms which give them the appearance of being invisible. These forms are designed to fit over the teeth so they can be easily removed when eating and they make it much easier to brush as well. Not to mention they are much more comfortable than metal, ceramic or lingual braces.
If you would like more information about which braces are recommended for your particular situation, please contact our office today. We would love to show you how easy a beautiful smile can be.

We know that getting braces can be a little nerve-wracking, but going in prepared can help you get over your apprehensions.

Here are five important things to know about getting braces before making an appointment.

Braces can help at any age.

While often associated with teenagers, braces can help improve your teeth at any age as long as your teeth and gums are reasonably healthy.

Braces do more than just straighten teeth Straightening teeth is not the only function of braces, which is why your orthodontist will perform a thorough examination at your first appointment. He will check for jaw pain, loose or crowded teeth, gum issues and more.

Different types of braces exist, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  
While traditional metal braces in a variety of forms remain the most common kind, ceramic braces are emerging as a popular alternative. Both metal and ceramic braces have advantages and disadvantages; metal braces are more durable and less expensive, while ceramic braces are more inconspicuous. Your orthodontist can help you decide which type is right for you.

You need to start with clean teeth. Before your orthodontist can properly attach your new braces, your teeth must be sufficiently clean. Booking a teeth cleaning with your dentist right before you are scheduled to have your braces put on will help you avoid any delays at your orthodontist appointment

You can expect some discomfort after first getting your new braces.
So that there are no unpleasant surprises, know that you can expect some soreness and sensitivity as your mouth adjusts to its new hardware. You can take an over-the-counter painkiller to help with any minor pain, which should subside within a few weeks as you get used to your braces.

When is the right time to start braces?

Is there a right time to start braces? Is there a best age? It’s almost a rite of passage for teenagers to get braces. But when is the best time to pay the orthodontist a visit? Can you be too young?

The necessity of braces varies from patient to patient. They are by no means required or mandatory, but recommended for a better overall appearance of your child’s smile.

When to get an Orthodontic Evaluation

Many orthodontists agree that if your child has misaligned adult teeth, overcrowding in the mouth, or a misaligned jaw, just to name a few, it’s time to get an evaluation.

For children, that right time to start braces is commonly between the ages of 10 and 14. During this time, all baby teeth have been lost and they have started to get (or already have) their 12 year molars. Kids heads and mouths are still growing, as well, and their teeth are more receptive to realignment.

Early Intervention

Dentists design a treatment plan specific for each patient. This could require an early intervention for some children as early as age 6, that show signs of severe dental issues. Early intervention often entails examining for skeletal problems and fitting for a retainer to help the teeth grow in a healthier direction.

There are many benefits to early intervention besides the fact that many conditions are easier to correct if they are corrected early. Other benefits include:

  • Ability to correct habits that may be causing the issue.
  • Correcting bite problems, such as cross bite.
  • A better idea of how the adult teeth will develop.
  • Create a more aesthetic appearance of teeth and face.

If you are unsure whether or not your child needs an early intervention, call and/or make an appointment with your pediatric dentist.

So When is the Right Time to Start Braces for Your Child?

The best procedure for determining the right time to start braces would be to start with your pediatric dentist. They will evaluate your child’s need, or lack thereof,  an early invention and the urgency of orthodontic treatment.

In the end, be sure to discuss with your child when they feel the right time to start braces is. The teenage years can be a trying time as they are, and facial adjustments may make this time even more sensitive.

If you have any questions or concerns about starting orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, do not hesitate to contact us!

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