Think Your Child Needs Orthodontic Braces?
To some kids, getting braces is thought of as a normal part of growing up. Maybe a sibling, cousin, or even friend has had braces before. Maybe they are even excited about customizing their own with different colored rubber bands. Other kids, who fear the dentist, may also fear getting braces. Thankfully, just knowing what to expect can make getting braces a much easier experience for all ages, because there isn’t an age limit for braces! See our blog called “Get it ‘Straight’ | Adults Need Braces Too to see what we mean.
Before Getting Braces
Not all people need braces, but the thing is… teeth just don’t always grow straight or evenly. Unevenly spaced out teeth is one of the main reasons why kids (and adults) need braces. Sometimes children have different sized upper and lower jaws, such as a malocclusion (overbite or underbite) that needs fixing.
Today, braces have become a perfectly refined process. While metal braces are still used, patients may have the option to get clear braces as well. Fun colored rubber bands on traditional braces are still a kid favorite, though.
There is some necessary prep work before the braces are actually applied. First, x-rays will need to be taken along with teeth impressions or molds. This prep helps your orthodontist to best plan out your treatment plan. How long braces are worn is dependent on the patient’s mouth, needs, and progress during treatment.
•Tooth Talk Tip: Keeping a strict regimen for cleaning, maintaining oral health, and ensuring you use your appliances as directed while wearing braces or clear alternatives will prevent the treatment plan form extending further into the future.
While Getting Braces
(The following relates to traditional metal & rubber band braces)…
Your teeth should be clean upon getting braces. This is because your orthodontist needs a clean surface to cement the braces. Some dentists recommend having a professional cleaning appointment a few days before having your braces placed. Your teeth are cleaned and dried, and then special glue is placed as cement to hold the brackets to your teeth. Once the brackets are in place, the wires are placed and rubber bands are used to secure them.
Overall, it generally takes about an hour or two for braces to be applied, and no pain should be felt during the procedure. Some mild discomfort is to be expected once the braces are set in place. A few days of sensitivity is common. Parents, you may decide to give your child over-the-counter pain medications to dull any soreness. Keep in mind – the soreness may last up to a week, but it should never be unbearable. It is recommended to start off eating soft foods for the first few days or even a week after having braces applied.
It is extremely important to schedule and attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist and dentist, as well as practice proper hygiene. We encourage your desire to seek the best possible orthodontic care for yourself and your loved ones. When you choose a Snodgrass-King Orthodontics you choose “a smile to build a future on.” Use our online contact form to easily request an appointment. We’d love to answer all your dental-related questions and concerns.