Is 7 Years Old Too Early for Braces?
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, timing is everything. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a screening for children by the age of 7. This is because certain conditions, such as crowding, can be easier to address while a child's jaw is still growing.
However, not all orthodontic issues require immediate attention. Some may benefit from waiting until more permanent teeth have erupted.
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Types of Braces for Young Children
When it comes to orthodontic care for young children, there are several types of brace to consider, each with its own method of aligning teeth and correcting bites. Traditional metal braces, which involve brackets and wires, are the most common type.
These are often the first choice for children who need to wear braces because they are durable and effective. Brackets are meticulously bonded to the front surface of each tooth and interconnected by wires, which the orthodontist periodically tightens to facilitate controlled tooth movement. This precise adjustment is essential to move the teeth incrementally towards the desired alignment, ensuring a gradual and effective repositioning within the mouth.
Other options include ceramic braces, which function similarly but are designed to blend in with the natural color of the teeth, and lingual braces, which are placed behind the teeth and are less visible. Each type offers different benefits and considerations, particularly for young children who may be conscious about the appearance of wearing braces.
Traditional metal braces, made of high-grade stainless steel, are the most common type. The dental apparatus comprises metal brackets, which are securely attached to each tooth, and these brackets hold the wires that connect them, ensuring the structure is maintained for the duration of the orthodontic treatment. These wires are held in place with tiny elastic bands or ligating braces.
Ceramic braces work in the same way but are made with tooth-colored materials to make them less noticeable. Lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth, hiding them from view.
Invisalign, an innovative orthodontic treatment, offers a modern twist on teeth straightening without the traditional look of metal braces. This system comprises a sequence of custom-made, clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible when worn. Invisalign is popular because it straightens teeth without the obvious look of regular braces, which is great for adults and teens who don’t want their braces to be seen.
However, while Invisalign aligners provide an aesthetic advantage, they may not be the ideal solution for everyone. The effectiveness of Invisalign is somewhat dependent on the complexity of the dental issues at hand. While it is adept at correcting mild to moderate dental misalignments, such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, gap teeth, and crowded teeth, it may not be as effective for more complex orthodontic cases. Such intricate issues may require the robust capabilities of traditional braces, which can exert more force and control over tooth movement.
Moreover, the success of Invisalign treatment hinges on the patient's commitment to the regimen. For the aligners to work effectively, they must be worn for approximately 22 hours a day. This allows for a consistent and uninterrupted progression of teeth movement. Patients must only remove the aligners for eating, drinking anything other than water, and for their oral hygiene routine.
This level of commitment requires a disciplined and responsible approach, which can be challenging for some individuals. If the aligners are not worn as directed, the treatment will not only take longer but may also not yield the desired results, potentially leading to additional costs and extended treatment time.
In addition, while wearing the aligners, patients must be diligent about their oral hygiene. Because the aligners fit snugly over the teeth, any lapse in brushing or flossing can trap food particles and bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is paramount throughout the course of treatment with Invisalign.
In conclusion, Invisalign is a modern way to straighten teeth without braces. It's not noticeable, but you have to be willing to follow the rules closely. It doesn't work for every dental problem, so it's important to talk to an orthodontist to see if it's right for you. For information on whether you can get braces for free, visit Can I get braces for free?.
Discover the right type of braces for your child and discuss the pros and cons with a specialist.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
- Correcting bad oral habits
- Preventing a problem from developing
- Guiding the growth of the jaw to accommodate emerging teeth
- Lowering the risk of damage to protruding front teeth
- Improving appearance and self-esteem
- Aligning the bite and reducing the risk of jaw pain
Early treatment can simplify later treatment, as many problems are easier to address while the child's jaw is still growing. For some children, orthodontic treatment can prevent physical trauma, gum disease, and dental problems that come from having crooked teeth or a misaligned bite.
Schedule an early evaluation to prevent long-term dental issues and ensure the best possible result for your child.
Maintaining Oral Health with Braces
Whether your child gets braces early or later, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial. Braces can trap food particles and make it harder to brush or floss, which can lead to plaque buildup and eventually, gum disease. It's important to follow a strict regimen of brushing and flossing to keep the teeth and gums healthy.
Most dental insurance plans in the United States cover part of the cost of braces for children under 18. This financial assistance can make it easier for parents to manage the cost of their child's orthodontic care. Learn more about wearing braces for 2 years.
Book an appointment to learn more about maintaining good oral hygiene during braces treatment and to find out what financial options are available to you.