Braces for kids

Orthodontic problems may begin right from the day a child’s first teeth erupt. This is why it is recommended for children to visit the dentist early, and if any problems seem to be developing, the dentist will refer the parents to an orthodontist. Children who receive orthodontic care at the right time may have few if any, orthodontic problems later in life. If you live in Oak Lawn or the surrounding areas, you can choose from several types of braces for kids at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics.

Why might children need braces?

There are a number of reasons why kids need braces. The most common reasons are crooked teeth, overcrowded teeth, overbite and underbite. These problems may be caused by early thumb sucking, accidents or missing teeth, but the most commonplace cause is heredity.

There are a number of signs that may indicate that your child needs to receive braces for kids or another orthodontic treatment. For example, if your child’s jaws make popping sounds or other noises when they move their mouth, you should consider visiting an orthodontist. You should also come in for a consultation if your child’s jaw is disproportionate to their face and other features.

While some issues that require braces are obvious to parents, others are first recognized at our office during a routine visit. Just because your dentist recommends an orthodontist, it doesn’t mean your child will be getting braces immediately. Some children don’t mind getting braces and think a mouth full of metal is cool. Others want to avoid the metal mouth smile and opt for more discreet methods of getting their teeth straightened.

What are the different types of braces?

New technology has made metal braces smaller than in decades past. Metal braces come with dietary restrictions because eating hard or sticky food can break the brackets and wires. While metal brackets were once standard, less noticeable porcelain and clear brackets are available today. This is a popular option for teens. Clear ceramic braces have clear brackets. Ceramic braces may also be tooth-colored. They treat orthodontic problems the same way metal braces do. The thin wires may be slightly visible, but they are much less visible than metal braces.

Another option is clear plastic trays called aligners that adjust the placement of teeth but can be removed for eating and other activities. However, these are only effective for certain issues.

At what age should my child get braces?

This varies among individuals, depending on the extent of orthodontic treatment needed and other factors. Most experts recommend that children have their first visit with an orthodontist around the time that the permanent teeth start arriving, usually at about age seven. While the child might not be ready for braces, our specialists will be able to identify potential issues and develop a long-term treatment plan.

Every child is different. Accordingly, the right age to receive braces will depend on the condition of your child’s teeth, the type of dental issues that they are using braces to correct, and other factors. That said, a child will usually get braces when they have most of their adult teeth and have lost the majority of their baby teeth. This process frequently occurs when the child is eight to fourteen years old.

How long will my child need to wear braces?

Although treatment time varies among individuals, the average length of time for childhood braces is about two years. Most kids need to follow up their orthodontic treatment with a retainer, a special device worn in the mouth that keeps the teeth from moving back to their original positions.

What type of care is involved with braces for kids?

You’ll need to monitor your child’s eating habits to make sure they aren’t consuming foods that could damage braces, such as popcorn, hard candy and gum. Because teeth with braces can be harder to get clean, good dental hygiene is essential. This includes brushing after every meal, flossing each day and keeping regular dental appointments to check for cavities. Your child will also have to visit our office regularly for adjustments.

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If your child needs braces in Oak Lawn, it is best to find out when they are young. Some orthodontic issues are easier to correct if the treatment starts early and more serious problems can be prevented. We typically recommend that you visit our orthodontist when your child’s first primary teeth start to fall out.

Although children typically will not receive braces until they are over the age of eight, the American Association of Orthodontists says that your child should start to visit the orthodontist when they are about seven years old. At this point, it’s common for your child to have some adult teeth and some baby teeth. During your consultation, we will look at your child’s mouth and analyze the condition of their teeth. We will let you know when you should begin using braces or other orthodontic techniques to correct your child’s dental issues.

At Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Oak Lawn, we proudly offer braces for kids, as well as braces for teens and adults. We happily serve clients in Oak Lawn, IL, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about braces for kids.