When is it Time for Braces?
Braces Are for More Than Crooked Teeth
Braces are commonly used for correcting crooked teeth. Braces consist of three basic components, brackets, bands, and wires. The brackets are bonded to the fronts of each tooth. Bands are placed around the very back teeth and anchor the wires in place. These wires are attached to each bracket by an elastic O-ring. The wire works to move the teeth gradually into proper alignment and stabilize them once they have reached their proper positions.
While braces are frequently used for correcting misaligned teeth, they can also be used to realign the jaws. This may involve the use of such things as rubber bands or springs. They can correct issues such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Correcting these issues is important as they can contribute to issues such as speech difficulties, trouble chewing and swallowing, difficulty breathing, or even jaw and neck pain.
Early Treatment is Not Always Best
Many parents often believe that getting braces for their child at an early age can help to get treatment out of the way. However, this is not always the case. In most cases, it is best to wait to get braces for your child until after all of their baby teeth have been lost. Getting braces for your child while they still have their baby teeth can sometimes cause the need for a second round of orthodontic treatment after all of the adult teeth have come in.
Your Child May Not Need Braces
Not all children need braces. Some children do not need to worry about having the alignment of their teeth or jaw realigned. However, even though they do not need braces, they may need some other form of orthodontic treatment. Some children require expanders. An expander is a device that is placed on the palate. A small key is used to gradually open the expander to widen the upper jaw. Some children may need a space maintainer if a baby tooth is lost prematurely. Others may need to have a tooth, or a few teeth, extracted to create enough room for the rest of the teeth to line up properly. An early orthodontic evaluation can help to determine the type of treatments your child may need, as well as when they should get them.
Signs Your Child Needs Braces
There are certain signs that you can be on the lookout for that can help you to determine if your child is in need of braces.
Getting braces can help your child to achieve straighter teeth, giving them a healthier, more beautiful smile. If you are wondering when, and if, your child might need braces, call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry for more information at (503) 663-8141.