As a parent, the best thing you can do to prepare for your child’s oral health is to make sure that you’re educated on their needs. Braces are a good option to solve a number of dental and bite problems. Your dentist will often be the first person who notices these issues and can make a recommendation to see an orthodontist discuss braces. But you should also do some research to help you understand different aspects of the process. Each situation is different. Your dental recommendations will be based on your child’s individual needs. Some patients may need a certain type of treatment, and the length of time your child will need to wear braces will depend on the issue that you’re correcting.
Here, we’d like to discuss some of the most common concerns for parents. Your dentist and orthodontist can help you make the most informed decisions for your child’s own oral health.
When Should My Child Get Braces?
In most cases, children should get braces between the ages of 7 and 14. Orthodontists typically wait for the child to have lost all of their baby teeth and to have their adult teeth come in. However, every child is different, and some children need early orthodontic treatment to help correct skeletal growth issues. Misaligned jaws and certain issues seen in children may be early signs of airway issues, oral habits, or other skeletal and growth issues. In early treatment, our focus is on getting skeletal growth and development on track. That is why the American Association of Orthodontics recommends all children see an orthodontist when they are 7 years old.
All adult teeth typically erupt into the mouth between the ages of 10-13. There is a great deal of individual variation to this rule. By this age, much of skeletal growth is complete. We can successfully move teeth at this age, but we sometimes lose the opportunity to influence and change skeletal growth patterns. That is why when early treatment is needed, it is best done when children are 7,8, and 9 years old. If early treatment is not needed, braces are best to be done when children have all their adult and are going through their growth spurt which is typically 11-13 years old for girls and 13-15 years old for boys.
How Do I Know if My Child Needs to See an Orthodontist?
There are several issues that might prompt you to see an orthodontist. The first thing that you should do is talk to your dentist. Your dentist can assess your child’s bite and make recommendations. They will often be the first person to suggest taking your child in for a consultation with an orthodontist. For some kids, the signs that they will need braces show up fairly early. For others, there’s no indication that they will need them until they’re much older. This can really depend on the individual child and the type of issue they have.
Some signs that parents can look for include overcrowding of teeth, crooked teeth, protruding teeth, crossbites, underbite, overbite, mouth breathing, and trouble chewing. Your child also may have an injury that prompts a visit to the orthodontist. Some injuries will correct themselves, but in other cases, you may need some treatment to align your teeth.
What to Expect When Getting Braces for Kids
Your child may be nervous about getting braces. Many people fear the pain associated with any dental treatment. They may also be worried about how the braces will look or if they might cause some difficulty with speech. Discuss the treatment with the orthodontist during your consultation. This will help clarify the exact process for fitting braces and the ongoing visits to have wires adjusted. For most kids, the process of putting the braces on isn’t painful at all. They do often experience some discomfort from the pressure that moves the teeth immediately after an appointment, but this is usually pretty minimal.
The Bottom Line: How Much Do Braces Cost?
Most people worry about the cost of braces. You may be surprised at how affordable they are, and you can enroll in a dental plan that covers certain types of braces for children under 18. The total cost will depend on the length of time that the child needs to wear braces and follow up with the orthodontist.
At Power & Pryse Orthodontics, we take time to discuss your child’s individual oral health needs and give you the best options for treatment. We can work with you to develop a payment schedule to fit your budget and guide you through the types of treatment that are covered by your insurance. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.