Braces for Children
As a parent, you may have asked yourself does my child need braces? And when is the right time for my child to start orthodontic treatment. There a now a number of options braces for kids available for those as young as 7, however most children start treatment in their early teens.
Orthodontic treatment can be used to help fix a variety of different issues such as overcrowding, crooked teeth, an over or underbite, spacing or gaps and malocclusions, which you might know as a ‘bad bite’. These issues are fairly common and can vary in severity.
Overcrowding is a very common reason for seeking orthodontic treatment. Dental overcrowding is a condition which happens when there is a lack of space for your teeth in your mouth. This may cause your teeth to overlap or twist and it can lead to more serious complications. Many of these problems are caused by the misalignment of teeth or difficulty in cleaning. Common issues such as gum disease and decay are caused by bacteria which feed on the food particles which can get stuck between overcrowded teeth.
Crooked teeth can cause similar issues to overcrowding, and other issues such as excess wear, and difficulties with chewing and speech depending on severity. Crooked teeth can be caused by jaw size and misalignment, poor dental care and myofunctional habits, such as thumb sucking in children.
Underbite and Overbite
An underbite it is a dental disorder characterised by the lower teeth landing in front of the upper teeth when biting. An underbite is mostly a genetic condition, however, other factors such as thumb sucking and bad chewing habits contribute to worsen the condition. There can be severe complications for this condition, including difficulty to chew.
An overbite happens when the upper teeth overlap over the lower teeth. Just like underbites, overbites can be inherited as well and they can lead to chewing complications and jaw pain.
A crossbite is a type of malocclusion characterised by a misalignment between the lower and upper teeth. Much like the other conditions crossbite is hereditary and caused by thumb sucking or by abnormal tooth eruption, which happens when some teeth grow before the baby teeth have fallen out. In most cases, crossbites are treatable with braces. However, there are a series of alternative treatments available to fix crossbites such as palate or removable expanders and they vary depending on the severity of the case. If not treated, a crossbite can lead to a series of complications involving the jaw development.
Dental spacing (or diastema) is a condition characterized by interdental gaps and disconnected teeth, caused by an excess of space in the mouth. The most common form of dental spacing is between the front two upper teeth. In this case orthodontic treatment is very effective. Dental spacing is primarily a cosmetic issue. Receiving treatment for it can be beneficial to your child’s confidence and self-esteem.
What age can a child get braces?
Children can receive orthodontic treatment from the age of 7, however most children will start orthodontic treatment in their early teens. If you are concerned about your child needing braces you can see an orthodontist from this age. However, there are a number of factors which will impact your orthodontist’s recommendation. These may include your child’s oral development and the severity of the case. In most cases, your child will need to have lost all of their baby teeth before they receive treatment.
Braces for kids: what are the options?
There are many types of braces for kids available, these include traditional metal braces and less traditional options such as Invisalign. Most types of braces can be used to fix all of the different dental issues depending on the severity of the cases and your own preferences.
Metal braces are made of durable stainless steel and they straighten teeth using arch wires. They can be used for childhood orthodontic cases and are very effective. They are normally a fairly cost-effective option and in some severe cases can be able on the NHS.
Ceramic braces much like traditional metal braces offer treatment with brackets and wires, these braces can be less durable than metal braces, however, they are a popular choice as the ceramic attachments and wires are less visible and offer more discreet teeth straightening.
These clear and removable braces offer the most discrete treatment since they are almost invisible. Invisalign uses the latest technology to create custom-made aligners which are changed every week or two. The aligners gently move your teeth progressively throughout your treatment, for great results with minimal pain. Due to their discrete nature and fast results, Invisalign is becoming increasingly popular amongst young people. These are most commonly used to fix overcrowded and crooked teeth, however it can be used for most case types.
Incognito or Lingual Braces
Incognito braces are braces for children and adults which are placed the back of the teeth. They work the same way metal and ceramic braces work, but they are virtually invisible and very effective.
If you would like to discuss braces for your child, we offer a free assessment to help you find out if your child is ready for orthodontic treatment.