You have kids. Their teeth are… less than straight. It’s obvious to you: they’re going to need braces.
The question you have, however, is: what age should kids get braces? That depends on a few different factors. We’ll get into those factors and more below!
When Are Braces Necessary?
There are a number of different situations that call for the use of braces. The most prominent of these situations include the following.
When Teeth Are Overcrowded
In some cases, a child’s teeth will grow in too close to one another. When this occurs, it results in overcrowding, a condition in which the teeth tilt and twist to make room for the others. In short, it results in the teeth becoming crooked.
Fortunately, braces can fix this problem, shifting the teeth apart so that they have room to grow in straight.
When There’s an Uneven Bite
Sometimes, the teeth grow in with a vertical asymmetry. In other words, the gaps in the teeth on the top row don’t line up with the gaps in the teeth on the bottom row. This is a problem not only because it’s aesthetically displeasing but because it can affect chewing, leading to pain over time.
Fortunately, braces can be used to correct this problem, shifting the teeth to a symmetrical position.
When There’s an Overbite/Underbite
Some kids are born with overbites or underbites. This is a situation in which the top and bottom jaws are misaligned, thus causing one of them to protrude. In addition to affecting the oral aesthetic, it can also lead to chewing issues and general pain.
Again, however, braces can be used to correct these issues, aligning the top jaw with the bottom jaw so that they function at an optimal level.
Indications of Potential Orthodontic Issues
Orthodontic issues aren’t just about crooked teeth. There are a number of other indications that orthodontic braces might be necessary. These include the following.
Does your child complain of pain while eating? If so, the alignment of his or her teeth and/or jaws could be the issue. For more information, you’re advised to consult an orthodontist.
Thumb sucking very often leads to orthodontic issues, as it can cause the teeth and mouth to develop in an improper manner. If your child is a chronic thumb sucker, you’re advised to see an orthodontist sooner rather than later.
Speech impediments can be caused by a number of different factors, some of which are psychological and some of which are physical. If there’s a physical issue at play, it could be contained within the teeth and jaws, specifically. An orthodontist can help you sort out any potential issues.
Do you ever hear a scraping or grinding noise coming from your child? If so, you need to keep an eye on his or her teeth. If your child is participating in teeth grinding, there could be an orthodontic problem in his or her future.
Types of Braces
Braces come in many different forms. We’ll discuss the most popular options below, helping you decide which is best for your child.
The most popular types of braces are metal braces. These braces are equipped to the front of the teeth and are connected with a thin metal wire. Though they may not be the most aesthetically pleasing braces available, they’re as functional as any others.
The main draw of metal braces? They’re cheap, available for a lower price than any other type of braces on the market.
Similar to metal braces are lingual braces. Like standard metal braces, these are also made and connected with metal. However, unlike standard metal braces, they’re equipped to the backs of the teeth as opposed to the fronts.
The effect of this? They’re not visible to passersby. The only people who can see them are the patient and his or her orthodontist.
Ceramic braces are like standard metal braces. They operate in the same general manner, connecting to the front of the teeth. Where they differ is in their color; metal braces are colored quite differently from teeth whereas ceramic braces are colored to match the color of teeth.
As a result, ceramic braces are difficult for passersby to notice. They’re not as well-hidden as lingual braces, but they’re not at all obvious either.
More and more popular these days are plastic braces. These braces fit like mouthguards but are specifically formed to fit snugly against each tooth.
When inserted, plastic braces are very difficult to notice. They’re clear and therefore tend to blend in with the natural look of teeth.
Perhaps the best thing about plastic braces is that they can be taken out as needed. This enables the user to eat meals and brush his or her teeth with little disturbance.
So, What Age Should Kids Get Braces?
Generally speaking, it’s best for children to get braces when they’re between the ages of 8 and 14. This is the point during which the jaws and gums are most malleable, making straightening much easier than it would be later in life.
If your child is in this age range and has begun to grow permanent teeth, you’re advised to see an orthodontist as soon as possible. At the very least, your orthodontist can start laying out a plan, ensuring that your child receives the correct treatment as soon as possible.
Looking to Get Braces for Your Child?
Now that you know the answer to “what age should kids get braces?”, you might be looking to get braces for your child. If so, and if you’re in the Orange Hill or Middleburg, Ohio areas, Weiss & Tor Orthodontics has you covered.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!