As a parent, you know the importance of dental health. Some children are blessed with perfectly straight teeth while others will need help from an orthodontist to have that stellar smile. A dentist is often the first one to recommend taking a child to see King George orthodontists, as they have identified issues that are beyond their scope of practice. By the age of seven, children are recommended to see an orthodontist to ensure that any underlying problem is identified and reversed. Depending on the findings, it will determine what happens next.
The Need for Braces
When the teeth don’t fit together properly, braces are the best option to fix the problem. Other issues treated are under bites, overbites, and cross bites. These concerns can cause excessive wear and tear on the teeth and gums if left untreated. They may even cause the jaw to develop unevenly in your child. Braces can address a wide range of cosmetic problems too. They can help when teeth have spacing issues; either too far apart or too close together. If there are extra or missing teeth, braces are a great way to fill those spaces or close gaps after a tooth is pulled. The goal of the orthodontists in King George is to correct the position of the teeth, which will essentially create a more uniform look and allow for better chewing.
Preparing Your Child
Many parents are overwhelmed when they find out their child needs braces. Explaining the situation to your child may be even more difficult. It’s important to be upfront and honest with them about what is going to happen. By knowing what to expect, it makes the process easier and helps ease any fear. First, you should know that it will take about 1-2 hours for the braces to be put on the teeth. The orthodontist will clean and dry the teeth to prepare them for the application. After the surface has been primed, the orthodontist will apply a drop of glue to the surface of the tooth to hold the brace’s bracket. The glue is harmless, but it doesn’t have a great taste. After the glue has dried, the archwire is fed through the brackets and secured with rubber bands.
The Installation Process
The actual process of having the braces installed does not hurt. There are no drills or loud instruments that will scare your child either. Once the braces are installed, there will be some sensitivity due to the teeth being moved. If the child should experience any pain afterwards, acetaminophen or ibuprofen are excellent options to help. Prepare your child by letting them know that their teeth are going to be sore for about a week after the braces are put on. Also, they need to stick with soft foods for a couple days. Things like mashed potatoes, applesauce, pop-cycles, and things of this nature are acceptable. Due to the sensitivity of the procedure, soups and other liquids are great fillers that won’t hurt the mouth. Slowly, the tenderness will diminish and they will once again be able to enjoy the things they love.
The hardest part of the process for your child is going to be sitting for that length of time. It may be hard for a child to sit for that length of time, but your friendly King George orthodontic specialists are trained to take care of your child.
Life with Braces
Life before and after braces are totally different. First, some food that your child loves are going to be off limits. Things like caramel, chewing gum, taffy, ice chips, nuts, and other things should be avoided. Basically, anything that is crunchy, chewy, or sticky should not be eaten. It’s important to follow these restrictions, as these foods are known to break the braces and cause a trip to the orthodontist center for repair. However, remember that they are children and these things are going to happen. It’s normal to break a wire or have the need for some repair work on occasion.
Getting Used To the Braces
It can take up to a month to get used to the feeling of having braces. Periodically, you will have to bring your child back into the King George Orthodontist Center for adjustments. Part of having braces is tightening the wires to gradually move the teeth. This is done in slight movements, as it does cause some discomfort to the child. The teeth and mouth area will be its sorest after an adjustment. Thankfully, that feeling goes away pretty quickly and is not a long lasting effect.
New rubber bands are installed on occasion, and there are many colors of bands that can be added for fun. We try to make your orthodontist experience pleasant. While getting braces can be a big ordeal with lots of appointments and adjustments, the end result is beautifully straight teeth and the ability to show off an attractive smile.
The Length of Treatment
One of the most common questions that are asked to our orthodontic staff is how long a child will have to wear braces. While no two cases are the same, the general rule of thumb is 12 to 30 months. There are very few cases or
reasons why the braces should be worn longer than that. The ideal time to put braces on is when the baby teeth are gone and the 12-year-old molars have erupted. The 12-year-old molars need to be at least partially visible, as braces cannot be attached to the area if not.
After the braces are removed, a retainer will be fitted to allow the teeth to maintain their shape. The retainer should be worn for about the same length as your child had their braces on. These metal wires help prevent a tooth from relapsing to its old position and ruining all the hard work the braces were able to achieve.
It’s not an easy process, but with a little patience and understanding as a parent, you can help your child achieve the smile they deserve.
Beecroft Orthodontics – 10472 Georgetown Dr, Fredericksburg, VA22553 Phone: 540 898 2200
What Your Child Should Expect Before and After Braces