Early orthodontics and children

Some dental and jaw problems may develop in children during the growth period. These problems are either genetic or caused by bad habits such as thumb sucking. Orthodontics in children, while solving these dental and jaw problems, preserves the function of the teeth and prevents the occurrence of secondary problems and diseases such as digestive problems and tooth decay.

Orthodontics has many benefits for our oral health. The biggest one is that it helps to facilitate oral health by regularizing the teeth.Because if the teeth are irregular, brushing, flossing and such affairs will be difficult for the child. So the risk of tooth decay and future dental problems may increase.

Improved speech and chewing ability,increased self-confidence, saving time, and reduced cost of treatment are other benefits of orthodontics for children.

Orthodontist with their specialized knowledge and experience about appearance and arrangement of teeth, is the most appropriate person who can make a beautiful smile for patients__ especially children. They do this using following appliances:

  • Bands
  • Brackets
  • Headgears
  • Wires
  • Clear aligners
  • Rubber bands
  • Retainers

What’s the different between pediatric orthodontics and adult orthodontics?

The difference between pediatric orthodontics and adultorthodontics is in the used treatment methods and appliances.

In childhood, many of these jaw and teeth anomalies and disorders can be treated in a shorter time because their bones are still growing. Many dental and maxillofacial problems are in their early stages in childhood, and due to the possibility of bone and tooth development, correction of these anomalies with orthodontics in children is faster and easier.

To have orthodontics in adults, they need to have healthy gums. Jaw movement in adult orthodontics is more difficult than children, and in some severe jaw deformities, surgical intervention is required, which is called orthognathic surgery.

At what age can children use orthodontic braces?

Children must be visited by dentist regularly. And if there is a problem beyond the dentistry, they will advise you to see an orthodontist.

Although there is no definite age for pediatric orthodontics, the American Association of Orthodontists claims that the best age for the first orthodontic visit is 7 years old. At this age, children have a combination of primary and permanent teeth in their mouth__ which allows early diagnosis and correction of crooked teeth, misalignment of your child’s teeth or jawbone problems. In fact, the best orthodontic age limit for children is between 8 to 14 years old, when jaw growth has not stopped yet.

The main reason for starting orthodontic evaluation and treatment of children from this age is because the most minor problems related to the growth of the jaw or teeth begin around the age of 7. Orthodontists recommend that correct yourchild’s dental problems while growing period, since orthodontic treatments may be longer and more expensive once they reach puberty.

Oral and dental malformations that your child may be suffering from

When does your child need orthodontic treatment and care?

When a child really needs an orthodontic procedure, the age of referral is not a criterion. The treatment plan depends on the child’s dental condition, and varies from child to child. For example, children with cleft lip and cleft palate should be treated with special orthodontic equipment before their first permanent tooth eruption.

Other children may receive orthodontic treatment from the age of 7 or 8, when they have not lost all their baby teeth. The goal of early treatment at this age is to prevent further problems in the future. All of these treatments create better conditions for the eruption and growth of permanent teeth.

Most children needing primary orthodontic treatment will later need braces or supplementary follow-up procedures to complete the alignment of their teeth and jaw. However, if the treatment is done in the early and timely stages, additional measures may be required significantly less in the future.

Are orthodontic braces painful to use?

It cannot be said that wearingbraces is painful. It’s better to use “feeling uncomfortable” instead of “feeling pain”. Even if you undergo orthodontic treatment as an adult, you may feel uncomfortable in the first few days, which will go awaythrough time. Similarly, children who use braces may experience a little discomfort when installing and adjusting the braces, rubber bands and headgears, or any other device.

Any discomfort or pain in pediatric orthodontics can be relieved with acetaminophen. Also, if wires, brackets, or bands irritate your child, the orthodontist can prepare and use a special wax to cover the sharp pieces on the braces. Braces mouth guard is another solution for comfort and prevention from lacerations.

Could some children be allergic to braces?

Yes, some children are allergic to certain metals, such as nickel. When this happens, other materials can be superseded. Some children may also be allergic to latex gloves used by orthodontists and their assistants. If so, ask your orthodontist to use non-latex gloves.

Braces can sometimes irritate child’s gums and cause them to swell. This irritation cannot be considered a sign of an allergy, but it must be taken care of.

What foods should children with braces avoid?

Braces are usually delicate. Fractures of a part can lead to the teeth moving in the wrong direction and prolongs the healing process. You need to avoid your child from using anything that is hard, sticky or chewy. Some of these foods include the following:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • pop corn
  • Candy
  • Chewing gum
  • Chewable candy

How long should children use braces?

The duration of pediatric orthodontic treatment varies and can be said that depends on several factors:

  • The type of problem in the teeth
  • Your child’s level of cooperation with the orthodontist
  • And your child’s growth

*But most of childrenuse braces for a period of 18 to 36-month.

How long should children use orthodontic retainers?

Although this may not always be the case, ideally your child should use an orthodontic retainer forever, even if only one night a week. The tooth changes just like any other part of the body. If your child refuses to use a retainer, you will have to wait for minor changes in his teeth.

Can a dentist do pediatric orthodontics?

Many dentists are trained in some orthodontic procedures. However, they cannot do everything that an orthodontist can do, and you will eventually need to see an orthodontist for specialized measures.

Dr. Darvishpour is a board certified orthodontist in Tehran and you can ask your questions about orthodontic problems of your child or book an appointment online for a free consultation.