Braces for Kids and Teens
Many parents are concerned about their kids' oral health but aren't sure what their options are. Fortunately, Art of Smile - Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics is here to shed some light on the subject.
When Should a Child Begin Orthodontic Treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children should have their first orthodontic evaluation when they turn 7. At this age, a child will have both baby teeth and permanent teeth, making it a crucial time to examine their positions, growth patterns, bite placement, and space available for future adult teeth. The earlier we can spot a potential tooth problem, the earlier and more effectively we can treat it. That means warding off the need for potential surgery in the future.
Your child's first orthodontic evaluation will allow us to determine whether we need to intervene early to protect the child's long-term oral health and when this treatment should begin. Most kids will need reevaluation as their oral health develops as they get older.
Orthodontics for Teenagers
Adolescents and teens are seen wearing braces most often because they're at the ideal age for orthodontic treatment to begin. Most children lose all their baby teeth and receive all their permanent teeth. It's also easy for us to diagnose issues with space, alignment, and crowding during this phase, as they're unlikely to improve on their own without treatment. Teens often feel comfortable getting braces, as many of their friends are also doing the same at this age.
Teens grow fast, and this rapid growth affects how their teeth move. Dr. James takes advantage of this rapid growth to effectively correct crooked teeth and misaligned teeth, allowing teenage patients to complete orthodontic treatments faster.
Orthodontic treatment will provide your child with good dental health, a great smile, a boost in self-confidence, and the quality of life they deserve.
Proper Orthodontic Care
Kids who wear braces must remember to brush carefully so that no food residue remains in their braces. It's very easy for food residue to get stuck there. Daily flossing also matters, and we can give your child a special flosser that can get in and around braces. Your child will also need frequent dental check-ups and cleanings so we can watch out for cavities.
Kids with braces will need to stop eating certain foods like corn-on-the-cob, popcorn, gum, and other hard or sticky foods. Sugary drinks are also problematic, as they can lead to tooth decay.
Braces apply pressure to the teeth, so they can feel uncomfortable when they're first installed and after we adjust them. Over-the-counter pain medication and eating soft foods for a while can alleviate the discomfort if it rises to a problematic level.
If a wire or bracket becomes loose, or if a wire is poking into your child's mouth, contact us right away so we can fix it. If we can't pinpoint the problem, we can offer soft orthodontic wax to cover any sharp points that are rubbing against your child's mouth or gums.
For more information, please contact our office at 215-800-0015.