Patients of all ages deserve a healthy, beautiful smile. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on aligning the teeth for optimal health, function, and aesthetics.
At our Edmonton, AB, dental practice, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky offers a wide range of orthodontic treatments for the entire family. Here, we discuss children’s braces and how they can set our young patients up for long-term success and excellent oral health.
When Should I Schedule a Children’s Braces Consultation?
Many parents want to know when they should bring their child in for an orthodontic consultation. The American Association of Orthodontists states that kids should have their first checkup around age seven. During this phase of development, the orofacial bones are still forming. If any skeletal issues are present, they are much easier to correct at this time.
Some children will require early intervention, which begins around age seven or eight. However, many children will not need braces until all of their permanent teeth have erupted, around the age of 11 or 12. During a consultation at our Edmonton practice, Dr. Podilsky can help you determine the right type of treatment for your child.
More about Children’s Braces
There are several different treatments available that can straighten your child’s teeth. Traditional metal braces are still the most common. These appliances consist of surgical steel bands, brackets, and wires, which are used to gently shift the teeth over time.
The length of treatment can vary significantly and it depends on the specific case. Some children may only need braces for a few months while others may need to wear them for two years or more.
Your child’s orthodontic treatment will be fully personalized according to his or her needs. Braces may be combined with a number of other appliances to achieve the desired results, including:
- Rubber bands
- Temporary anchorage devices (TADs)
How Can I Know if My Child Needs Braces?
As mentioned above, an orthodontic consultation is a surefire way to know if and when your child will need braces. However, there are a few warning signs that could indicate problems, including:
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Premature or late loss of baby teeth
- Problems with speech
- Crowded, twisted, or overlapped teeth
- Thumb sucking, prolonged bottle use, or other childhood habits
- Cheek biting
- Teeth that do not meet together properly
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Popping or clicking when opening or closing the mouth
- Imbalances in facial structure
Children’s Braces: More Than Just a Beautiful Smile
Many parents forego orthodontic treatment for their children because they assume that the benefits are purely cosmetic. While braces can certainly deliver an attractive smile, the real takeaways are the health advantages.
When the teeth fit together properly, kids can bite, chew, and speak with ease. Being able to get proper nutrition means that your child stays healthier overall. Furthermore, children’s braces can address orthodontic conditions at a young age, before they progress. This helps set your child up for success in the long run.
Learn More about Children’s Braces
If you have been thinking about braces for your child, schedule an appointment at our Edmonton dental office. Dr. Podilsky can let you know if orthodontics can improve your child’s oral health. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (780) 428-6846.