Children and Orthodontics
Do braces hurt?
“Hurt” may be too strong of a word. But your child may have some discomfort when braces are first put on, when they are adjusted, or when you start using a new appliance, such as rubber bands or a headgear.
Any pain or discomfort can be relieved by taking acetaminophen (Tylenol). Also, if the wire, brackets, or bands irritate your child’s mouth, your orthodontist can provide special wax to cover the sharp areas on the braces.
Is it possible to be allergic to braces?
Yes. Some people are allergic to stainless steel. When this happens, other materials can be used instead. People can also be allergic to the latex gloves used by the orthodontist and the assistants. If your child has a latex allergy, tell your dentist so that non-latex gloves can be used
Braces can sometimes irritate a child’s gums, causing this to swell. This is not an allergic reaction, but something parents still need to watch for.
What foods are off-limits for kids who wear braces?
Braces are delicate. Breaking part of the appliance can result in the teeth moving in the wrong direction and in longer treatment. Anything that is hard, sticky, or chewy should not be eaten, including:
5- Chewing gum
6- Chewy candy, like caramel
How long does my child need to wear braces?
The length of treatment varies. It depends on the problem, how well your child cooperates, and your child’s growth. Typically, most people wear braces from 18 to 36 months.
How long does my child need to wear a retainer?
Ideally, your child should wear a retainer forever, even if it is only one night a week. Of course, this may not be practical. The teeth are like the rest of the body and the body changes. Once your child stops wearing the retainer, slight changes to the teeth should be expected.
What are my options?
Today’s orthodontics offer more kinds of braces than ever before. Check out your options:
Metal braces/Traditional braces
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces.” However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces that many adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and less painfully than in the past.
Pros: Least expensive type; colored bands give kids a chance to express themselves
Cons: Most noticeable type of braces
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend into teeth. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable.
Pros: Less noticeable than metal braces; move teeth much faster than clear plastic aligners (Invisalign)
Cons: More expensive than metal braces; Brackets can stain easily if patients don’t care for them well
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth.
Pros: Invisible from outside
Cons: Difficult to clean; more expensive; not appropriate for severe cases; can be more uncomfortable at first; regular adjustments take longer and are more difficult than with traditional braces
Invisalign consists of a series of 18 to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners. The aligners are removable and are replaced every 2 weeks.
Pros: Almost invisible; Patients can eat and drink whatever they want
Cons: Will not work for serious dental problems; only available for adults and teens, not children; more expensive option; can be easily lost and costly to replace; treatment may potentially take longer.
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions, so get an appointment today.