As your child grows, they may need braces to ensure that their teeth stay healthy and properly aligned. Braces can be a good investment for your child's long-term dental health, but there are some important questions you should ask their dentist first.
These questions will help you understand what to expect and how to best ensure your child's treatment is successful. Here are a few of them.
What Is the Overall Goal of Children's Braces?
A good children's dentist should be able to explain exactly why your child needs braces. This can help you understand what parts of the treatment are most important and how you can help your child achieve their goal.
For example, some braces may be intended to correct an overbite or underbite, while others may be used for more cosmetic reasons like straightening teeth. An overbite is when the upper teeth extend past the bottom teeth line. This condition is most often caused by genetics but can also be due to thumb-sucking or an abnormally shaped jaw.
An underbite is when the lower teeth extend beyond the upper teeth. This can also be caused by genetics but is often due to habits like tongue thrusting or abnormal jaw development.
Your dentist should be able to provide you with an overview of the treatment plan in such cases, which will include the expected outcomes. This will help you understand why braces may be necessary and what kind of results you can expect from them.
Does Your Child Need to Wear Braces for Long?
The length of time that your child will need to wear braces varies depending on the severity of their condition and the type of braces they're using.
Generally speaking, braces can be worn for anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Your dentist should be able to provide you with an estimate of how long your child will need to wear braces based on their individual case.
They may also recommend additional treatments to help expedite the process, such as a dental expander or special aligners. This way, your child can get the best results in the shortest amount of time.
What Kind of Aftercare Is Necessary?
It's important to know what kind of aftercare is necessary for braces to ensure your child's dental health remains in top shape. Your dentist should provide you with detailed instructions on how to clean and care for braces, as well as what foods should be avoided.
For example, some foods like gum and hard candy can get stuck in braces and cause damage. These foods can get lodged in hard-to-reach places and cause discomfort, as well as cavities or irritation. Make sure you understand what foods are safe for braces to avoid any unnecessary damage.
Your dentist should also explain how to recognize signs of trouble and what needs to be done if braces become damaged. This will help you and your child stay on top of their treatment and avoid any unnecessary complications.
They should also give you a list of tips and tricks on how to make braces more comfortable, such as using orthodontic wax or special toothbrushes. These tips can help your child stay on track with their treatment and make the process as smooth as possible. Ultimately, this will make the process much easier and help your kid get the beautiful smile they deserve.
To learn more, contact a children's dentist in your area such as Eugene C. Brown, Jr., DDS, MS.