1. What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is the proper alignment of misaligned teeth, using appropriate orthodontic devices. The process is known as teeth straightening and the orthodontic devices are dental braces.
For kids, dental braces contain wires, brackets and rubber bands. These usually do not pose a risk of any injury. With time, the wire is tightened to force tension on the teeth to align together. An orthodontic treatment may span anywhere between 3 months to a couple of years, depending upon the severity of the misalignment.
2. Why is teeth alignment/teeth straightening so important?
Misaligned teeth surely ruin the aesthetics of your kid’s smile. On top of that, there are oral health issues that are related to the condition as well. With crowding and overlapping, there are areas in the teeth that your child’s toothbrush or floss cannot reach. This lays the foundation for tooth decay in the future.
Teeth straightening or alignment helps in getting rid of these crowding and overlapping, to create a perfect set of teeth. This not only improves the aesthetics of your kid’s smile but also prevents oral diseases arising in the future. Apart from that it also helps in proper chewing and swallowing, and improves speech.
3. When to get dental braces?
There is no specific age to get dental braces. Your kid’s dentist may notice something irregular in the alignment of his/her teeth and may carry out an X-Ray and recommend you to see an orthodontist. On the other hand, if the kid is too young, dentists tend to wait until the gums grow and mature, to find out if the mature gums of the kid support a perfectly aligned set of teeth.
Malocclusion (more commonly known as a bad bite) is the main reason why kids need dental braces. This happens due to the improper shape or size of either or both of the jaws. When the jaw size is bigger or smaller than usual, teeth tend to be spaced or crowded respectively.
An overbite is when the upper front teeth overlap with the lower front teeth when the mouth is closed. On the other hand, an underbite is when the lower front teeth overlap with the upper front teeth when the mouth is closed. This too calls for dental braces.
However, not every misalignment requires dental braces for teeth straightening. For example, mild overcrowding does not pose a big threat if the child does brush and floss thoroughly and regularly./p>
As far as overbites are concerned, most people have a slight overbite, that does not require dental braces. However, if your orthodontist does recommend your kid to get dental braces, do read this article by Reader’s Digest, Canada to help you decide!
4. Are there alternatives to dental braces?
There is a rising trend of invisible teeth aligners among kids. These are plastic trays that are barely noticeable, and work exactly as dental braces, only that they are not as effective! These teeth aligners are good for mild misalignment, but orthodontists do not recommend it to cure severe malocclusion.
Invisible teeth aligners are also more expensive than dental braces and need to be replaced periodically.
5. What are the types of dental braces?
Although all of them look just the same, there are around 10 types of dental braces,
each differing in size and other features. Your orthodontist would likely consult with you before recommending you with one type for your kid, based on your kid’s dental condition. Porcelain and mini dental braces are a couple of the other types.
6. What are the diet restrictions during orthodontic treatment?
A considerable amount of diet restrictions is associated with orthodontic treatment. To generalize, orthodontists recommend kids not to have popcorns, hard and sticky foods while going through orthodontic treatment. Burgers, sandwiches, chocolates, and meat are few of the diet restrictions. As per an article published by Oral-B
“Cut down on sweets, chips and soda. Sugary and starchy foods generate plaque acid and that can cause tooth decay and promote gum disease. Sticky, chewy sweets like caramel, fudges and toffee can also cause wire damage and loosen brackets.”
You must ensure that you get your kid’s orthodontic treatment from a certified and reliable orthodontist treatment in town. If you’re in Illinois, asking, “Where could I find the best orthodontist near me?”, click here!