- Who Is a Candidate for Braces?
Dentists and Orthodontists recommend that children have their first orthodontic consultation no later than seven years old. This early screening allows the orthodontist to correct any issues that may lead to braces in the future. This consultation can also be used to advise the parent about any future orthodontic treatments.
- Why You Might Need Braces
Braces correct misalignment and bite problems. There are three different types of misalignment.
- Class 1- Is the ideal relationship with the upper and lower teeth and how well they bite together. Spacing and crowding may be an issue with this class.
- Class 2- Is known as “overbite” this happens when your upper jaw appears to push forward.
- Class 3- This occurs when the lower jaw pushes forward and is commonly called an “underbite.”
Some people may not experience bite issues but have different degrees of spacing or crowding. Crowding is when teeth are rotated, overlap, or grow in an incorrect position in your mouth. Crowding also occurs when the dental arch is too small for adult teeth, or the adult teeth are larger than normal. Another cause is losing the baby teeth early or having baby teeth for too long. Crowding can make flossing and brushing correctly tricky and can cause gingivitis or tooth decay.
- The Most Popular Types of Braces
- Metal Braces/Traditional Braces
Traditional braces made from metal wires and brackets are the most common and least expensive orthodontic system. Modern brackets are smaller and now have heat-activated wires that can help to move your teeth quickly and with minimal discomfort.
- Ceramic Braces
These are the same size and shape as metal braces. However, they have tooth-coloured brackets that help them blend in with your teeth. Some may offer tooth-coloured or clear wires to help make them even less noticeable.
- Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but the wires and brackets are placed on the inside of your teeth. This makes the braces invisible from the outside.
Invisalign® comes with custom-made, clear plastic aligners. These trays are removable and can be replaced every two weeks for the next in the series. These aligners are almost invisible, and your child can eat or drink whatever they want because they remove them to eat and brush and floss their teeth.
- Things to Know
There are some important things to know about your child’s orthodontist experience.
- Before Braces
Braces are important to your child’s overall oral health and are very common. Initially, your child’s teeth may hurt as they become accustomed to wearing the braces and after adjustment, but any discomfort soon subsides and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Regardless of the system you choose for your child’s orthodontic treatment, the treatment time is about the same and will depend on the complexity of your child’s case. The result is a beautiful and healthy smile.
- During Braces
With braces that have a bracket and wire, your child will have to alter their diet. Crunchy foods can weaken orthodontic glue and cause brackets to pop off. Sticky or chewy foods can get caught in the brackets and cause tooth decay in that area. Ask your orthodontist for a list of foods to avoid. Biting directly into foods such as apples or corn on the cob are not recommended either because they can cause brackets to come off teeth.
Avoid foods that can stain your ceramic braces and only drink water while wearing your Invisalign® aligners.
Proper daily cleaning may take longer than what your child is used to. The assistants at your orthodontist’s practice can demonstrate how to clean around the brackets and how to floss between the wires.
If your child plays sports, it is important to protect the braces and the soft tissues of their mouth by wearing a mouthguard.
- After Braces
Once your braces are removed, your child will be fitted with a retainer. The retainer may be fixed and attached behind your front four top or bottom teeth, or it can be removable. The function of the retainer is to prevent your child’s teeth from relapsing. It is essential to encourage retainer use nightly, if not your child may need orthodontic treatment again in the future.
Book a professional cleaning with your dentist. The hygienist will professionally clean newly exposed parts of your teeth that have not been cleaned in a while.