Orthodontic Treatment For Children - The Common Questions Answered

Tooth misalignment is a growing problem in children these days. A research study has shown that the incidence of tooth misalignment problems in children with mixed dentition, i.e., having both permanent and milk teeth, is over 73% globally. Hence, an increased number of children these days require orthodontic treatment to fix their tooth alignment issues. 

If your child’s dentist has informed you that your child needs orthodontic treatment, you will surely have many questions in mind, such as “which treatment option is the best for my child”, “how long will it take”, and “how much will it cost?”. If you’re searching answers to these questions, this article is for you. So, read on to learn everything you need to know about orthodontic treatment in children. 

At What Age Should A Child First Visit An Orthodontist?

The severity of orthodontic problems in children can be considerably reduced if diagnosed at an early age. That is why, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents take their children to an orthodontist no later than age 7. This allows the orthodontists to identify any underlying or developing orthodontic problems and take preventive measures to reduce their severity. In addition, children who have undergone preventive orthodontic treatment during their early years often need to wear braces for a considerably lesser amount of time than those who have not. 

Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Important Or Not?

Early orthodontic treatment mainly involves preventive or interceptive measures. Your child’s orthodontist will use “functional appliances”, which utilise the body’s growth spurt to redirect the growth of the mouth and jaws, and prevent – or reduce the orthodontic problem’s severity. Therefore, it is always good to take your children to an orthodontist during their early years so that they don’t need extensive treatment with braces or Invisalign aligners at the age of 18 or later. 

Is It More Common For Kids To Have Braces These Days?

Yes, the incidence of orthodontic issues in children is growing at an alarming rate. Although genetics plays a vital role in developing tooth alignment issues in children, lifestyle and diet are also essential. Unfortunately, with the increased use of a soft and processed diet, the teeth do not receive sufficient mechanical stimulation, thereby increasing the risk of complications such as tooth decay and misalignment.

Is It Worth It To Buy My Kid Braces?

When you pay for your child’s orthodontic treatment, you are not just investing in their smile but also ensuring their optimal physical health and well-being in the long run. The reason is that crooked or misaligned teeth cannot break the food into smaller particles. As a result, the digestive system cannot adequately digest this food, leading to various systemic complications like

  • indigestion
  • malnutrition
  • generalised weakness.

Therefore, investing in your child’s orthodontic treatment is not an option, it is necessary to keep them healthy and active. 

What Age Is Recommended A Child Get Braces? Is 10 Too Young?

According to the British Orthodontic Society, a child’s orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign aligners should start when they have grown all their permanent teeth, which typically occurs at the age of 12 or 13. However, in some cases, dentists or orthodontists may consider treatment at an earlier age to avoid future complications. So, it mainly depends on the type severity of the underlying issue. 

How Does An Orthodontist Fix Dental Issues In Children?

Orthodontists have various treatment options available to fix orthodontic issues in children. For example, if a problem is detected during the early childhood years, dentists will provide the so-called preventive or interceptive treatment. This treatment aims to prevent the problem from developing altogether, or use removable orthodontic appliances to redirect jaw growth and reduce its severity. 

When a child has grown their permanent teeth, orthodontists either use different types of braces – such as traditional metal, lingual, or ceramic braces – or removable Invisalign clear aligners to fix the tooth alignment issues. So, the choice of the treatment option mainly depends on the severity of the problem and the child’s age. 

How Can I Best Ensure Straight Teeth For My Children?

As parents, we must be on the lookout for parafunctional habits, such as

  • nail-biting
  • tongue thrusting
  • thumb-sucking

in our children. These habits exert uneven pressure on our teeth, resulting in their localised or generalised misalignment. Besides, parents must also take their children to a dentist regularly so that underlying orthodontic issues can be diagnosed and managed before they require extensive treatment. 

Why Is It Better To Put On Braces When You Are A Child?

Once tooth misalignment develops in a child, it will get fixed on its own. The only option available to fix tooth misalignment problems is orthodontic treatment with clear aligners or braces. Therefore, if a child has orthodontic issues, parents must get the problem fixed by getting braces to ensure their long-term, optimal oral and physical health. 

Ensuring your child’s oral health is as essential as ensuring their physical wellbeing. So, if you are looking for a renowned private orthodontic practice in Surrey, look no more! Ewell Orthodontics is a one-stop solution for your family’s orthodontic and general dental problems. Whether you are sixteen or sixty, you can get your teeth straightened at any stage! So, bypass the NHS waiting list and book a free consultation appointment with us today and let us keep you healthy, active, and smiling! We look forward to serving you!