At Carolina Braces, we take pride in creating beautiful smiles through state of the art orthodontic services. Specializing in orthodontic treatment for children, teens and adults, we’re dedicated to helping you and your family.
To help you determine if your child may need braces, we’ve developed this helpful guide.
What Age Should My Child Go to the Orthodontist
Did you know most orthodontic problems start as early as age seven? For this reason, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you bring your children for an orthodontic examination by the time they’re 7-years-old.
Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean they’ll actually need braces. Instead, taking your children to visit the orthodontist for a consultation may just help you avoid more costly/aggressive treatments down the line. So what happens during your first visit?
When a child visits our Raleigh orthodontics office, their orthodontist may check for a couple of things including misalignment of the jaw or overcrowded teeth. Both, of which, may indicate a need for braces to correct the alignment of the teeth.
During your consultation, your kid’s orthodontist may also take X-rays to check the alignment of incoming teeth. X-rays can help us see how the permanent teeth will come in and if braces are needed.
If problems are detected, your child’s orthodontist will develop a treatment plan (sometimes even before the baby teeth fall out). The ideal age your child should receive braces is between age 9 and 13 because their permanent teeth start fully coming in during that time
How Do I Know If My Kid Needs Braces
Children typically start losing their baby teeth around age 5 or 6. Shortly after, their permanent teeth will begin erupting around age 7.
During this time, there are several signs that may indicate a need for braces including crooked or overlapping teeth, overly crowded teeth, losing baby teeth too soon, or issues with the bite. Unfortunately, as a parent, these signs may not be easily identifiable.
Unlike your regular dentist, orthodontists are specially focused on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of teeth. This means they can often spot problems with your child’s development sooner than a parent or even a regular dentist!
What Kind Of Braces Are Best For My Child
So, you’ve met with an orthodontist in Raleigh and determined that braces are the right next step for your child. But, what type of braces are the best choice? This discussion can often go beyond health considerations and well into the realm of aesthetic.
Since your child will be expected to wear their orthodontic appliance for an extended period of time, it’s important for the child to feel comfortable with their braces.
We want to make sure that braces for all kids (and adults) fit their teeth and their personality well. The good news is that there is a wide variety of options for a child to choose from that will fit their unique needs, including:
- Traditional Metal Braces. This is what you’re probably picturing when you think of braces. Stainless steel brackets are cemented onto each individual tooth with bonding material and linked together with metal wires. This puts just the right amount of pressure on the teeth, causing them to shift into the right position. The wire is held in place by putting colorful elastics on each bracket. To correct a bite, clear rubber bands are often used towards the back of the mouth and extend from a bracket on an upper tooth to one on a bottom tooth. These are the least subtle types of braces. However, they are also the most common, especially with kids and teenagers.
- Invisalign® Braces. The most unique type of braces available is Invisalign. Unlike the other options above, there are no brackets, wires, or metal bands with Invisalign. Instead, it uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to straighten teeth. These are removable and should be taken out daily as you eat and clean your teeth. While this may not be a problem at home, it can be inconvenient if you eat out a lot as you’ll have to remember to bring a case to store them in as you’re eating. Invisalign may be the right choice for you if you’re looking for a subtle solution and like the flexibility of taking them out for pictures or dinner dates.
- Damon Braces. Damon braces look similar to traditional braces. There are still brackets on each tooth and a wire linking the brackets together. However, traditional braces use elastics to hold the wire in place whereas Damon braces have a special slide mechanism that grasps the wire. This means you will not need colorful elastics on each tooth, so they are a little subtler. Damon braces are also self-ligating and can adjust teeth on their own. Not only does this mean you’ll require fewer visits, but it also works faster.
Braces Can Change Your Kid’s Life
As you’re researching the different types of orthodontic treatments available, you may wonder if your child even needs them in the first place. Although straight teeth can do wonders for one’s self-esteem, there are also several dental care reasons why you should consider orthodontics for your child.