Is My Child Going to Have Braces?
“I Have Had Braces. Is My Child Going to Have Braces As Well?”
Could Your Child Inherit Your Malocclusion?
Orthodontic problems can affect a person’s oral health and smile simultaneously. These dental issues won’t get fixed on their own and need to be addressed by a professional orthodontist to be corrected.
Well, the good news is that your orthodontist can fix your misaligned teeth and improve your smile and dental health with orthodontic treatment.
What’s the bad news?
The bad news is, chances are you have passed down your crooked and crowded teeth to your children.
A part of teeth and jaw misalignment is down to genetics. Since a child will inherit both parents’ genes, they may have their father’s big teeth and their mother’s small jaw or vice versa.
Common Orthodontic Issues with a Genetic Origin:
Children can inherit bad mouth structure and misaligned teeth and jaws from their parents; examples include:
- The size of the jaw and some jaw growth problems
- The shape of the teeth
- The size of the teeth
- The size and shape of the mouth
- Having extra or missing teeth
- Having spaces between the teeth/ crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
Unlike these orthodontic problems that can be genetic in origin, tooth decay and gum disease are primarily caused due to poor oral hygiene, and genes are not so much to blame.
What Causes “Bad Bites”?
Lifestyle Factors That Can Affect Your Need for Braces
Would you like to know what kinds of habits might lead your child to grow malocclusion?
You don’t always have to blame your genes if your child doesn’t have a beautiful set of straight teeth. Other than genetic factors, some lifestyle and childhood habits can heighten your child’s risk of needing orthodontic treatment.
- Breathing through the mouth (mouth-breathing)
- Prolonged thumb-sucking or finger-sucking
- Long-term sucking on a pacifier
- Premature loss of baby teeth, probably due to poor oral hygiene
- Poor nutrition
No matter the cause of your child’s malocclusion, an experienced orthodontist can address the issue and improve your child’s smile.
What Is Malocclusion?
Occlusion is how teeth in the upper jaw and lower jaw meet when you close your mouth. In other words, occlusion is the relationship between the teeth.
Malocclusion or bad bite occurs when this alignment is compromised, and the teeth of the upper and lower jaws have an incorrect relation. Kids with a normal bite have correctly aligned teeth, meaning their top teeth slightly overlap the bottom teeth, and their back teeth fit perfectly.
The position and relationship of the upper and lower jaws determine the class of malocclusion.
Three classes of malocclusion include:
- Class I malocclusion
- Class II malocclusion
- Class III malocclusion
There are various types of malocclusion, including:
- Open Bite
- Over Bite
- Under Bite
- Cross Bite
- Crooked Teeth
- Gap Teeth
Does Your Child Need Braces?
Who Needs Braces?
Your kids may require orthodontic treatment due to many reasons. The orthodontist will assess your child’s teeth and offer the best treatment options.
- Kids with crowded or crooked teeth have a higher risk of the need for braces later on.
- Kids who had the habit of thumb sucking past the age of three or four have an increased risk of needing braces.
- If your children lose their baby teeth prematurely or later than expected, they are likely to need braces.
- If your child’s teeth in the lower and upper jaw do not come together when they close their jaws, they may need braces to improve the alignment of their teeth.
- If your child’s jaws make noises or click, wearing braces may be necessary for them.
What is the best age to get braces for a child?
First Dental Visit
The American Dental Association recommends you schedule your child’s first visit with a dentist as soon as their first baby teeth emerge.
First Visit With an Orthodontist
Many orthodontists believe parents should schedule a dental visit with an orthodontist for their children once their permanent teeth (adult teeth) appear in their mouth, around age seven.
Some orthodontic issues will start to show up at around this age, and early treatment can increase your child’s of having a successful treatment. Plus, some dental problems may get more severe over time if left untreated, so the orthodontist can assess your child’s teeth and decide when is the best time to start treatment.
When to get braces
Can adults wear braces?
Typically, once your kids get their permanent teeth, they are ready for getting braces between the ages of nine and fourteen. Early treatment at a young age will usually bring better results. However, orthodontics is for children and adults, so even adults can receive treatments with braces or other devices and have more aligned teeth.
How Long Will It Take to Straighten Teeth with Braces?
The length of the treatment with braces varies for different patients because every mouth is unique.
The severity of the orthodontic problem and the treatment option the orthodontist will choose to align the teeth affect the treatment time.
While braces may treat a patient’s misalignment in six months, some may need two years of wearing dental braces to have their crooked teeth straight. Some patients may even need shorter treatments with braces, between four to six months, if the main focus is to straighten the front teeth.
How Are Braces Fitted?
Dental braces are teeth straightening appliances made of wires, brackets, and bands used in orthodontics to shift teeth into their correct alignment by applying gentle pressure.
The orthodontist will first bond the metal brackets to each tooth with an archwire. Sometimes ring-like bands are used to keep the dental braces in place. The orthodontist will tighten the wires periodically to encourage each tooth into its correct position.
Note: Make sure you visit your child’s orthodontist if you notice a loose wire or bracket in your child’s mouth.
Note: If braces are irritating your child’s mouth, you can use some soft orthodontic wax to cover the part of the appliance that is causing trouble.
Try to talk to your children and comfort them if they feel nervous about having their braces fitted. Children may feel discomfort in their mouths for a few days after each tightening. Eating soft foods and taking OTC pain relievers will usually do the trick.
Young children who wear braces should be instructed to maintain oral hygiene because braces can collect food and plaque and must be cleaned properly. Brushing and flossing, visiting the dentist, and having a balanced diet are essential factors during treatment with braces.
Different Types of Braces
Several types of dental braces are available to correct your kids’ misalignment.
Traditional or metal braces consist of small brackets and wires bonded to teeth. By using your body heat, the wires will allow the teeth to move quicker. While traditional braces are considered the least expensive dental braces, they can effectively correct misalignment.
Ceramic braces are almost the same thing as metal braces in size and shape but are less noticeable because they are ceramic. Ceramic braces cost more because their colour blends more naturally with your children’s teeth. These braces require more care and attention because they can get stained if not taken care of well.
Lingual braces will be attached to the back of your teeth; therefore, they are not easily noticeable. These braces are somewhat invisible because they hide behind the teeth and are favourable for some patients. However, lingual braces may not be as effective as traditional braces, and treatment may take longer. Plus, they may cause inconvenience for the patient due to being in contact with the tongue.
Maintaining oral hygiene may be more difficult with these braces. People who wear lingual braces may also notice mild speech difficulties.
Clear aligners are a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made and do not involve brackets and wires. They are very popular in orthodontics since they are invisible and do not cause aesthetic concerns. You can also take them off when you want to eat food and brush your teeth. These clear aligners can fix minor to moderate dental problems and are more expensive than traditional braces.
What Are Retainers?
The Role of Retainers
After the orthodontist takes the braces off your mouth, it’s time to wear retainers to complete the treatment and achieve the desired result. Retainers are orthodontic appliances usually used after treatment with braces.
While braces are there to straighten the teeth, retainers keep them that way. The orthodontist will decide how long you or your child should wear your retainers to maintain the intervention results with braces. Retainers may be fixed or removable.
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