Why are Braces Needed?
Kids may require braces for different multiple reasons that include:
- Crooked teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Overlapping teeth
- Malocclusion (bad bite)
Malocclusion is the type of abnormality when the upper and bottom jaws differ in size and the orthodontists think that the jaws must be aligned by using orthodontic treatment. When the size of the upper jaw is larger than the lower one it’s called an overbite. When the size of the lower jaw is greater than the upper one, it’s called an underbite.
Also get to know about some effective ways to fix overbite.
Sometimes the problems related to teeth and jaws may occur if the child loses his/her baby teeth so soon. The habit of thumb sucking also leads to dental problems. But most often these dental issues are inherited, if the problem occurs in parents that probably means that the child would need to have braces too.
It is very important to visit a dentist so that the problems can be detected in your child in an early age and the necessary treatments may commence. The dentist would probably recommend an orthodontist who can start the treatment and guide the family further. No age can be set that when a child needs to visit an orthodontist, some kids start going from an early age of 6 and maybe you or your kids need to visit an orthodontist when you are a teenager. But then the question arises; how old do you have to be to get braces? This is particularly addressed here.
Types of Braces
Braces are the tools that fix the alignment problems of jaws and teeth by putting pressure steadily on the teeth. This pressure results in moving them to an appropriate position.
Most of the kids just need different types of braces with wires, rubber bands and brackets to help fix the problems.
- The brackets are directly attached to the teeth by punching holes in them and the wires around these brackets are fixed using rubber bands.
- The wire is then gradually tightened by the dentist to help align the teeth.
- Metal braces are used by the orthodontists but ceramic and clear braces are used too that are less noticed.
- Another type of braces is the lingual braces that are fixed behind the teeth so that they are kept hidden and are not hindering pretty smiles.
- There are clear braces that are removable available in the market with plastic trays. These are called clear aligners. But they are only compatible with some people and cannot be used for everyone.
If you are planning to get clear braces or ceramic brackets just have a look on its pros and cons before getting them fixed.
- Sometimes the problem related to teeth needs an extra support at the back of the teeth that is provided by hedgers. A hedger is shaped as a horse-shoe and is attached to the back of the teeth with a wire. They provide an extra force to move the teeth to the positions where they are properly aligned.
The Actual Process of Getting Braces (Different Viewpoints)
Ranging from the age of 6 to 10
A child must have a visit with an orthodontist by the age of 7. Not just 7 but can visit an orthodontist starting from 6 years to teenage years. 7 years is an important age because at that point of time your average child will have their first upper and lower molars as well as the four upper front incisor teeth and the lower four incisor teeth. At this time as an orthodontic specialist the doctor is able to determine if there are any problems developing. Those problems can include an Underbite. In this problem the lower teeth are ahead of the upper teeth. Its also called an anterior cross-bite.
There can also be crossbites at the back of the mouth where perhaps the upper circle of teeth doesn’t fit very well in the lower circle of teeth. This can lead to the bite being of some other important problems to be able to identify. These problems include gap between teeth, severe crowding, severe spacing, impacted teeth where there is no space for them to erupt. As well as the airway whether the child may have an airway issue i.e., obstructive sleep apnea. By being able to identify these problems early, the course of treatment can be begun that will correct that issue early.
It’s not necessary for every child to get an orthodontic treatment as they don’t need one. Orthodontics take it under full consideration and treatment is carried out only when it is obligatory.
No Specific Age Limit to Get Braces
Dr. Alexandra Papadopoulou from Sydney Dental school recommends that when it comes to the treatment of orthodontics, age is not an issue.
For kids it’s advisable to have their first consultation with a specialist orthodontic somewhere between the ages of 6 and 7. It’s generally recommended that our orthodontic treatment should take place during the years when the patient is undergoing physical growth.
This means that during those years any problems with the alignment of the jaws can also be addressed. Treatment options have been evolved regarding the appliance design. So, in recent years more adults are seeking and are able to achieve a perfect smile. There is no best age for starting a treatment specially in adult case.
However, with adults just because there is no remaining jaw growth, they might need some additional procedures such as surgery for correction of any existing jaw problems. This means that the overall treatment involves orthodontic procedures performed by the specialist orthodontists to align the teeth and oral surgical procedures performed by the specialist maxillofacial surgeon to align the jaws.
As long as the patients are willing to cooperate with any orthodontic appliances that are the best for their problems and they are wearing them. The result can be ideal at any age.
Taking Care of the Braces
Braces align the teeth and fix the jaws but it is very painful to have them on and they require much care.
It is very easy to get the food stuck in the brackets of the braces and the kids who have them on have to work hard to keep them clean, after all oral hygiene is much important. Here are some tips to take care of these braces:
- Brushing your teeth after every meal
- Have your teeth dentally cleaned regularly at clinic
- Floss them daily
- Regular checkups to look for cavities
- Certain foods must be avoided e.g., gums, hard candies etc.
- Sodas and juices can cause problems
- Eating soft food can help
Other helpful braces related information for you: