The time to consider whether your child needs braces is when he or she has their first dental appointment. A pediatric dentist is trained to watch how the baby teeth are lost and evaluate the position of the incoming adult teeth. Your dentist may recommend that you take your child to an orthodontist who specializes in correcting teeth alignment problems. Some orthodontic treatments should not begin until the child’s jaw is finished growing, but there are treatments for other types of problems. During an initial consultation with our specialist, you child’s teeth and jaw may be examined and a course of treatment recommended. In many cases, braces for kids can help your child enjoy better dental health.
There are many reasons why braces for kids might be a necessity, including the following:
• Crooked teeth
• Gaps between teeth
• Overcrowded teeth
• Malocclusion, which can be either an overbite or an underbite
These jaw problems may be caused by losing baby teeth too early, an injury that knocked out baby teeth too soon or a habit such as finger or thumb sucking. However, the most common reason children need braces is heredity. Many dental issues are genetic. If you or a family member needed braces, there is a good chance your child will, too.
There is no set time to visit an orthodontist. We recommend starting early, usually when the adult teeth are starting to come in at around the age of seven. At that time, any malocclusion or overcrowding will typically be apparent.
When your child’s teeth are examined, our specialist may ask if there are any problems with chewing or swallowing, or if there is a small clicking or popping sound when he or she eats. Some tests may be performed to see how the adult teeth are moving, and molds of the upper and lower jaw may be taken to see how the two arches fit together. Our practice offers a few different types of braces, and our orthodontist will recommend the best kind for your child’s problems. The most common type of orthodontic treatment is traditional metal braces. These are much smaller than they were decades ago and come with colorful elastic bands to lighten up the experience. Other types, such as ceramic braces, are much less noticeable. Our orthodontist will help you decide which braces for kids will be best for your child’s specific situation.
Once the braces are on, visits to our orthodontist will be required every three to four weeks for adjustments and monitoring. The length of time you child will need to wear braces will depend on his or her needs. After examining your child’s situation and developing a personalized treatment plan, Dr. Runnels will let you and your child know exactly what to expect.
When it comes to orthodontic problems, the sooner they are diagnosed, the shorter the treatment may be. Once your child’s baby teeth start to fall out, it is good to start considering braces for kids. If you’re considering this right now, the trusted team at Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics is here to help. Proudly serving Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Panama City Beach and Panama City, we gladly provide patients in the areas with personalized orthodontic care. To learn more about braces for kids, contact our office to book your consultation today!