Children may need to have teeth straightening treatment for any number of reasons, including crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth, or even a bad bite. Sometimes tooth and jaw problems can be caused by losing baby teeth too early, accidents, or baby habits like thumb sucking. However, misaligned teeth are often inherited, therefore the children of patients who had their teeth straightened in the past, will most likely need braces as well.
An experienced dentist, such as those at One Smile Oral Care in West Malling, will be the first to notice problems during a dental check-up and recommend treatment. They can decide whether a child does indeed need braces and which of them would be the most suitable for each individual case.
When is it the best time to visit the dentist for braces?
While there’s no set age for a child’s first visit to the dentist, many dentists recommend the age of six or seven as a good starting point. At this age, children have their first permanent teeth erupted, therefore issues such as an uneven bite or overcrowded teeth will become apparent.
Bringing a child early to the dentist, doesn't mean that they will get braces immediately. Some teeth straightening treatments do not necessarily require braces. In any case, the dentist will be able to look for any potential problems and decide the best time to start treatment.
Types of braces
Generally, metal braces are the most popular braces for children. Unlike in the past though, metal braces are not as bulky or ‘clunky’ due to advances in modern dentistry. Nowadays, children can take advantage of smaller and lighter braces with colourful brackets for extra fun.
Some children may need other teeth straightening devices, such as headgear that attaches to the back teeth, providing stronger force to move them into the right position. A dentist may also recommend removing one or more teeth to create more space for permanent teeth.
Once children get their braces fixed, they will have to visit the dentist every few weeks for monitoring and adjustments. Duration of treatment varies and depends on the severity of the problems the dentist is trying to fix.