Problems That Could Result In Braces
- Does your child have teeth that overlap?
- Did your child use a pacifier longer than they should have?
- Did they suck their thumb?
- Are their teeth crowded?
- Do their teeth have a lot of spacing between them?
- Does one jaw seem too forward or retracted?
- Are they missing permanent teeth?
- Is your child self-conscious of their smile?
- Are there problems with speech or chewing and biting?
Are Braces Painful?Braces can cause a little bit of pain, and they can be uncomfortable. The pain usually occurs soon after getting braces placed on the teeth and after adjustments. This pain doesn’t usually last more than a few days or hours and can be managed with pain medication and a soft diet on those days.
How Do You Take Care Of Braces?When considering braces for your child, there are some other things to keep in mind. Your child needs to make sure they are taking care of their teeth by having good oral hygiene practices. Brushing their teeth and flossing is crucial for ensuring there is no potential damage to their teeth and the rest of their mouth. Having poor oral hygiene while wearing braces can lead to cavities on the teeth and/or gum disease or bone loss. If your child is not going to be responsible enough to take care of their teeth and braces, you need to be prepared to do it yourself, or your child’s teeth could end up worse than when they started with braces. If this is something that is a concern, it may be best to hold off on getting braces for a couple more years. Keep in mind that there are also certain foods that need to be avoided while having braces. Biting into hard foods can damage the braces. Therefore, it is recommended that these food-like apples, for example be cut into smaller pieces to make them easier to eat, but there are some foods that shouldn’t be eaten at all. Snacks like popcorn, chips, nuts, and gum should be avoided. If you don’t think your child will follow these guidelines, this might be a good reason to decide against braces or have your child wait until they are old enough and more responsible for taking this seriously.
How Long Will My Child Have To Wear Braces?The length of time your child has their braces depends on the severity of their dental issues. The braces could be on for six months, or they could need to stay on for as long as two to three years. The orthodontist will address this after the initial assessment appointment.
What Happens After The Braces Come Off?When the braces come off, the work doesn’t stop there. A retainer will most likely be needed to keep the teeth from shifting back to their original position. If the orthodontist decides a retainer is necessary, it’s essential to make sure it’s being worn. If the teeth shift back to their original position, all that time and money that was put into the braces will be wasted, and the patient will be charged if they want to have braces again.
What Kind Of Braces Are Available?There are five main types of braces. Metal braces are the most common, but other braces include ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign or clear aligners.
1- Metal BracesMetal braces are worn mostly by children and teens. Metal braces can not be removed, which means they need a lot of care and attention to stay clean to prevent further problems. They get adjusted about every four to six weeks by the orthodontist. You can also get cool colored elastics put on these braces which can make them more fun for children and teens.
2- Ceramic BracesCeramic braces work in the same way as metal braces, but they aren’t as noticeable. Ceramic braces are larger than metal braces, and there is a risk of staining, so, as I mentioned before, brushing your teeth and braces regularly is very important.
3- Self-ligating BracesSelf-ligating braces are similar to the first two braces I mentioned above. The difference is that they use doors or clips that hold the wire in place instead of rubber ties. These are easier to adjust, which means there could be shorter appointment times.
4- Lingual BracesUnlike metal braces, ceramic braces, and self-ligating braces, lingual braces are attached behind the teeth. Lingual braces are great for those that don’t want their braces to be noticeable.
5- Invisalign and Clear AlignersInvisalign and clear aligners are relatively new to the market. They became popular in the early 2000s. Invisalign and clear aligners are not noticeable while being worn, they can be removed, which makes for easier teeth brushing and flossing, and in some cases, they don’t have to be used for as long as the more traditional braces. However, if they are not worn for the required time, typically 20 to 22 hours in the day, the treatment time will be extended, and complications may arise because of lack of compliance. Therefore, if compliance may be an issue, this may not be the best option for your child. As well, the child has to ensure that they place their aligners in their case and keep them in a safe to avoid losing them when they have to remove them for eating, for example.
How Much Do Braces Cost?Braces are not cheap. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to dish out for something that isn’t 100% necessary for your child’s health, it’s essential to know exactly why your child’s orthodontist recommends braces. Braces can cost as little as $3,000 and as much as $10,000. Insurance doesn’t usually pay for braces. When they do pay, it’s usually just a portion of the cost. I read several times during my research that getting braces as an adult is more expensive than getting them as a kid as it may take a longer time and/or more treatment to correct the problems. That might be something else you want to take into consideration when deciding on getting your child braces.
Final Thoughts!There is a lot that goes into getting braces and caring for them while they are on. The decision to have your child get braces or not isn’t one that should be made lightly. If you have any doubt with regards to the treatment option presented to you, or the cost and time required for the treatment, you can and should seek a second opinion from another orthodontist. You don’t have to make the decision on the day of the consultation. Also, bear in mind that different orthodontics may treat a bit differently than others, but that does not mean their treatment is incorrect. As well, a different orthodontist may charge more or less than another. The most important thing is that they will all reach the same end results that are best for you or your child. In the end, it’s ok to wait to get your child braces when they are older and more responsible unless a medical professional has told you otherwise. Do your research. Talk to other parents and caregivers that have gotten braces for their child. Ask them about their experience. At the end of the day, you know what’s best for your child and their health. Dr. Asile El-Darahali has been contributed to the article.
Fun Facts About Braces
- NASA created the wire used in braces.
- NASA created the nickel-titanium that is used in braces in 1959.
- Tooth extraction might be needed in order to straighten your teeth if your teeth are too crowded.
- The first set of braces was made in 1728 by a French physician, Pierre Fauchard. That makes braces almost 300 years old!
- In the 1900s, 14 or 18 karat gold was used to make braces.
- In Ancient Egypt, there were mummies found with animal intestines wrapped around their teeth. Archaeologists believe that the animal intestines were similar to modern-day braces to try to straighten teeth.
- About one in five patients getting braces are adults.