By Eric Riley
If you have any children there is a chance that some day they may require braces. For many children it is a sort of rite of passage, a sign of adolescence. Of course, there are adults who occasionally require braces as well but for the most part it is generally something that children have to go through. As using braces to correct whatever is wrong with the teeth or jaw can be a long, difficult process there are several things a parent must understand about it when visiting the orthodontist.
Several of the reasons why a child might need braces would be crooked teeth, overlapping teeth, crowded teeth, or an overbite or an underbite. An overbite is when the upper jaw is larger than the lower jaw and an underbite is when the lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw. Often these reasons are the result of instances that happened with the baby teeth such as tooth decay, premature tooth loss, or habits such as thumb sucking. Most often however they are inherited: if someone in your family had braces most likely your children will require braces. Usually, the first ones who will notice that your child will need braces would be your pediatric dentist who could then refer you to an orthodontist.
While there is no set age when you should take your children to the orthodontist the most common age tends to be around age seven. This is around the time when the baby teeth start falling out and the permanent teeth start growing in.
Therefore, it is around this age when issues such as an uneven bite or overcrowding become apparent. Keep in mind that just because this problem becomes apparent doesn’t mean that your child will get braces right away. It is far more likely that the orthodontist will examine your child’s jaw and make an analysis on when they will have to receive braces and what type they will require. It is highly likely that the orthodontist will wait until all of the baby teeth have fallen out all of the permanent teeth have grown in.
There are several types of braces available depending on your child’s teeth problems. Most likely they will receive braces with wires and rubber bands. On average, your child will wear the braces for about two years before they can be removed. Afterward, they will wear a retainer for a time to keep the teeth from returning to their original place. What is important is to take your children to the orthodontist and find out if the braces are required or not.
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.