The Essentials of Braces for Children
Teeth with a correct bite that are aligned properly are healthier and have a reduced risk of future dental problems. Teeth that are crooked allow more places for plaque to build up which increases the likelihood of developing gum problems known as gingivitis. To promote a healthy mouth and smile, a child's teeth need to be straight. It is important to have your child's teeth evaluated by an a pediatric dentist fremont ca at an early age.
By the age of seven, enough permanent teeth have emerged to allow the orthodontist to perform an orthodontic examination for kids in which the teeth, jaw, and bite pattern are evaluated to ascertain that development will occur as it should. While a child's teeth may look straight, it is what is happening that can't be seen that is important – things like how the adult teeth are emerging, relationship of the upper and lower jaw to each other, and tooth crowding to mention a few.
Indications that a child may be in need of an orthodontic exam that may be observed by a parent include loss of baby teeth too early or late, difficulty chewing, biting or speaking, grinding or clenching of teeth, jaw that appears too far forward or back, and a jaw that makes sounds or shifts. Many orthodontic conditions are easier to address early on and early exams are geared toward preventing severe problems. If treatment is deemed necessary it will occur in a two-step process. The first step occurs while the child still has most of their primary (baby teeth). The second step occurs as the child gets older at a time determined by the child's growth and specific dental needs.
One form of orthodontic treatment includes braces for kids. Braces are used to correct crowded and crooked teeth, misaligned bites and jaw problems by applying steady pressure on the teeth, eventually moving them into the correct position. Some parents may wonder how old do you have to be to get braces and the answer is braces can be prescribed at the age of six or seven years. In fact, this would be the ideal age to prescribe them, however, some children don't have their first exam until after this window of opportunity has passed.
Braces have advanced well beyond the old-style metal, although that is still available, but they now come in ceramic, lingual (attached behind the teeth) and Invisalign which are clear, removable trays used for people without bite problems. Most children need braces that have wires and rubber bands, which are available in a multitude of colors. In fact, every time your child has an adjustment every few weeks they can change the color. They can choose their favorite sports teams colors, go green for St. Patrick's day or black and orange for Halloween. With the average length of time required for wearing braces being two years, your child will have plenty of opportunities to show off their favorites.