Braces affect more than appearance. Did you know wearing braces as a kid can have long-term effects on digestion, neck tension, autoimmune disorders, and jaw tension?
It is important to be aware of the facts when considering if and when braces are right for your child. Below is a guide with the three most important things when considering braces for kids.
1. Know the Benefits
The objective of braces is to straighten and align teeth which of course has cosmetic benefits and can boost your child’s self-esteem for a lifetime. Properly aligned teeth are also important for overall well-being.
Malocclusion, or improper positing of the teeth, can cause tooth decay, and physical damage to teeth. It can be a precursor to digestive issues as a result of improper chewing due to misaligned teeth. A poor bite can also cause chronic neck tension and block nasal passages due to a compressed palate.
Braces are an option to resolve these issues. These issues can develop at any age and might indicate that it is time to see an orthodontist. It is important to at least give time to your child’s oral development before jumping into an invasive treatment.
2. Know the Risks
At an early age, your child’s face is still growing and hasn’t reached its mature structure. Braces can potentially alter the mature shape of your child’s face by realigning the teeth and changing the jaw position. For some people, this change can be good, and for others, it may result in a longer, less full face.
It is hard to make this prediction, especially in younger patients since they are farther from puberty. If this is a concern, make sure to consult with only the best orthodontist. Some orthodontists will show a 3D image of the predicted changes in facial structure from braces.
3. Consider the Four Types of Braces
There are four types of braces: traditional metal, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign. All four options are available to kids, teens, and adults. Metal braces are the most common and worn by millions in the US. Lingual braces are also metal but are placed behind the teeth to be invisible.
Depending on your child’s confidence and eating habits one of these four types might be better at a certain age. With all options, it is important to find an orthodontist who uses clean non-toxic metals, ceramics, and plastics free of mercury, BPA, nickel, and lead.
When Should I Seek Braces for Kids?
The best age for braces for kids does not have a one size fits all answer. The main consensus among orthodontists is to monitor early on before jumping into any invasive treatment. Just because your child will see an orthodontist doesn’t mean they need braces right away, or at all.
It is beneficial for your child before their jaw permanently develops, around puberty, to see an orthodontist. This puts the steering wheel in your seat. The best thing to do is get answers by discussing with an orthodontist for children.