When Should My Child Get Braces?

When is the right time to get braces for your child? This is a question many parents have when it comes to protecting their children’s teeth. In truth, children don’t always need to get braces from a Houston dentist. However, in certain circumstances, braces help keep teeth and gums healthy by aligning them to properly fit inside the mouth. We’ll help you to understand how this benefits your child and when it is the best time to use them.

Regular Visits to Your Houston Dentist

The need for braces is not always apparent right away. It is important to have your child visit your Houston dentist every 6 months so the dentist can chart the development of their teeth. By visiting every six months, and getting x-rays every 12, the dentist will see the progress made by all the teeth and how they are developing in relation to each other.

Certain circumstances can affect how teeth grow in from the gums. The size and shape of the oral cavity play a big role in teeth development. Additionally, premature loss of a tooth can cause other teeth to shift. This can become very problematic if the permanent tooth has not erupted yet. The tooth will push up through the gums, brushing against and damaging the shifted teeth.

Your Houston dentist looks for signs that these problems will develop so they can counteract them as soon as possible. One of the best ways to counteract them is with braces. The sooner the braces are ready, the less correction will be necessary.

Getting Braces from Your Houston Dentist

After the need for braces becomes apparent, the dentist needs to thoroughly clean the patient’s teeth. The teeth need to be completely free of any plaque, or the glue that holds the braces in won’t adhere well. Next, they add a small spot of glue to each tooth. The glue may have an unpleasant taste, but it is completely harmless.

After the glue is ready, the dentist adds a metal or ceramic bracket. This becomes the anchor point for the archwire, which spans across all of the teeth. The dentist attaches each bracket to the archwire and secures it with elastic bands.

The whole process of installing braces takes about 1-2 hours and does not hurt. After the procedure is complete, the teeth and gums may be sore, but over the counter painkillers help alleviate the pain. This pain goes away about a week later. Most patients get used to their new braces within a month, and by six months, they barely notice them. Most of the time, your dentist will want the braces to stay in for 18-24 months. This length of time is necessary for them to gently realign your child’s teeth.