Does Your Child Need Braces?
5 Things to Know Beforehand
Braces are a common sight with kids. They help repair real problems, such as an overbite, but can also help provide kids with that sought-after straight smile. As common as they are, though, an estimated 75 percent of kids could benefit from braces. If the orthodontist recommends braces for your child, keep reading for five things you should know.
Braces Treat Several Things
When an orthodontist tells you your child needs braces, they can say that for several reasons. Some of the common ailments that braces treat include:
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
Always ask what the braces will treat. That will help you explain to your child why they need braces.
It’s a Long-Term Process
Braces aren’t something that can work overnight. An orthodontist, like those at Total Dentistry, will make tiny adjustments to the braces over time. Those adjustments will slowly move the position of your child’s teeth. On average, your child will wear braces for around two years before the orthodontist removes them.
Braces Are Uncomfortable
While it’s not a full-time experience, braces are uncomfortable. There is a good chance your child will experience discomfort when they first get braces and after each adjustment. Your orthodontist will keep you and your child informed about ways to deal with mouth pain, including eating certain foods, and taking any necessary medications.
Good Oral Care Is Key
You must make sure your child engages in good oral care while wearing braces. There is a possibility of decalcification of your child’s teeth. Decalcification can leave discolorations on your child’s teeth that may affect the appearance of their smile after the braces come off. While less of a problem for kids with baby teeth, it can prove more troublesome for teens with adult teeth.
It’s Not Over When the Braces Come Off
Your child will likely think of the day the braces come off as the end of things. Sadly, it’s not quite true. Teeth can move back out of alignment during the first month or so after braces come off. That means you should prepare your child for the idea that they’ll need to wear a retainer after the orthodontist removes the braces.
Getting braces for your child is a big decision. It’s a process that can last up to two years, which means a lot of appointments and a lot of monitoring of your child’s oral care habits. The upside is that you give your child a straight, even smile as they move into adulthood. It’s a small but meaningful advantage.
By Dixie Somers / Freelance Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
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