Does My Child Need Braces?


Are you wondering…”Does my child need braces?” There are many reasons you may want to seek professional advice from a Pediatric Orthodontist to see if  your child needs their teeth corrected. And there are many solutions and devices in which to accomplish this.

Wikipedia describes Orthodontics as: What is the definition of Orthodontics?

Children can also have a misaligned jaw or crooked teeth in which cases parents will be required to discuss with a pediatric dentist. He or she may recommend that the child should be making an orthodontic visit who specializes in perfecting smiles by using orthodontic appliances like:

  • Bands.
  • Wires.
  • Brackets.
  • Headgear.
  • Retainers.
  • Rubber bands.
  • Clear aligners

We are looking at some of the common forms of orthodontics to provide you the facts needed to make an informed decision about the orthodontic treatment needed by your child.

Types of Appliances And Braces

Presently several dental appliances are available. However, braces still hold the permanent position for straightening teeth or correcting misaligned bites. They function by putting pressure on the teeth and the jaws for moving them into the desired position.

Unlike in the past when braces were similar to a mouthful of metal things have changed dramatically with more options now being available. Earlier the teeth were fully banded but currently, the brackets are cemented directly onto the surface of each tooth.

Different types of materials are used for making braces some of which include:

  • Stainless steel.
  • Plastic.
  • A combination of different materials.
  • Ceramic.

The materials being used can provide the basis for a clear or tooth-colored appearance. Wherever possible the wires can be made from materials like nickel-titanium or copper titanium because these are longer-lasting and do not require many adjustments like stainless steel wires.

Also available are clear invisible trays that can straighten teeth without the need to use wires and braces. These are beneficial for some people who may require orthodontic work. This method makes use of custom-designed, clear and removable trays that pressurize the teeth to gradually move them into their proper position.

What Other Appliances Are Used In Orthodontics?

Orthodontics has advanced tremendously from the past and is using many other appliances including:

Rubber bands: these are also called elastics and are used when additional force is required to move the jaws and the teeth into the desired position. Children have the option of choosing their favorite color and many children are preferring to decorate their mouths during holidays with colors like orange or black during Halloween.

Temporary Anchorage devices: Tad’s as they are also known are tiny screws of about 6 to 12 mm in length and 1.2 mm to 2 mm in diameter. They may be temporarily fixed into the bone in the mouth when needed to have a fixed point from where force can be applied to move the teeth. They are capable of allowing tooth control that is more predictable and is, therefore, becoming increasingly common in orthodontic treatment.

Headgear: Headgear is beneficial for many people. This appliance is attached from the back of the head to the braces and is removable. It is used when extra force is needed for moving the teeth and the jaws just like with rubber bands. Whenever headgear is recommended it only needs to be worn while sleeping at home during the night.

Can Dentists Provide Orthodontic Treatment Instead of an Orthodontic Dentist?

Yes, many dentists have received orthodontic training and can provide the treatment if necessary. However, when there is a need for extensive orthodontic work it is recommended that an orthodontic visit will prove beneficial. Dentists have received an additional 2 to 3 years of advanced education and training beyond dental school. They specialize in strengthening the teeth, rectifying misaligned bites, and problems of the jaw.

When Is a Child Recommended An Orthodontic Visit?

Your dentist can provide you information about when to seek an evaluation from an dentist for your child. The American Association Of Dentists and the American Dental Association have recommended that all children should receive evaluations for orthodontics by the age of seven. The dentist will be able to detect subtle problems by this age with the emerging teeth and the growing jaw. Active treatments among children begin between the ages of 9 to 14.

What Is the Earliest Age When A Child Can Get Braces?

No specific age has been set for children to seek orthodontic treatments. The treatment plan will depend on the requirements of every child. For example, orthodontic treatments are provided for kids with cleft palates even before their baby teeth erupt. Other children may find it beneficial to start treatment as early as six or seven years even if they still have baby teeth left in their mouths. The objective of early treatment is to inhibit further problems from occurring. The treatment will create a better environment for the permanent teeth to erupt and grow.

Children that need early orthodontics will be in line for additional braces or work at a later age to complete the process of tooth and jaw alignment. However, the work needed may be significantly less if he or she has received the treatment earlier.

It may be challenging to decide on behalf of the child to embark on orthodontic treatment but a huge difference will be visible in an improved smile, appearance, and self-esteem. Therefore the next time you find yourslef wondering “does my child need braces?”, give us a call and set an appointment for our free consultation not just for your child, but for your entire family.  Who knows…a beautiful smile with clean, straight and healthy teeth, may be just around the corner. Call Paseo Ranch Pediatric Dentis in Glendale, AZ today – 623.223.9677. Or click here for an appointment.