The Critical Importance of Braces for Kids
Braces are the thing that no kid ever seems to want, especially because getting braces often happens in middle school or high school, where your image is everything, and braces can lead to embarrassment. While most children don’t want braces, you can’t underestimate their importance. Here’s why you need to think about braces for your children, and why braces for kids are the best thing for their young mouths!
The Main Benefit Of Braces
The most common reason people wear braces is because they have crooked teeth that need to be fixed and straightened back into place. The dentist places a metal bracket and wire brace into your child’s mouth and over time and repeated appointments, they tighten it. The tightening gradually shifts the crooked teeth into place, giving your child a straightened smile with an aligned bite!
Getting braces early in your child’s life can be a great idea, and it is recommended that you bring your child in at around age 7 to get an evaluation. Braces for kids teeth can be very helpful if prescribed early, because crooked teeth can lead to a lot of problems in life, not the least of which is a very rough smile!
Braces Also Support Oral And Overall Health
While you might think about your child’s smile and their appearance as you bring up braces, braces for kids provide a lot of other benefits as well. If your child’s teeth are very crowded and pressed together, or they have an underbite or an overbite, this can make it very hard for them to brush and floss their teeth.
Not being able to properly brush or floss can lead to a lot of oral health problems because bacteria will make their home on unclean teeth, increasing your child’s risk of getting things like cavities and infections in their mouths.
And properly aligned teeth can also improve your child’s facial structure, make speaking easier, and also improve problems with the jaw. If your child has sleep apnea or problems falling and staying asleep, then braces can improve their airway and also improve their sleep.
Braces Can Prevent Jaw, Tooth, And Gum Problems
If your child has gaps in their teeth and mouth, then those gaps can also lead to jawbone decay. If the jaw bone covered by the gap doesn’t need to support any teeth, then the gums will start eroding as will the underlying jawbone. This can cause a lot of problems for your child’s overall gum health, the pressure that they place on their jaw, as well as their gums. Working with a pediatric orthodontist on specialized braces closes the unnatural gaps between teeth and allows the jawbone to stay where it is.
When Should You Get Braces?
While it is recommended to get a checkup for your child’s mouth with an orthodontist when they are about seven, you should also keep an eye on their mouth as they grow. Everyone can get braces regardless of their age, and even adults get them, but teen braces are the most common for people.
Your dentist might also tell you that your child needs braces in their teen years, or might prescribe braces to your child whenever they are an adult. But keep an eye on your child, because not every child needs braces. Sometimes teeth can appear crowded or your child might breathe through their mouth more than normal, or they might have a slight underbite or overbite. Sometimes this can happen over time and will eventually fix itself, while other times you need to take your child to the orthodontist.
What About Invisalign?
While metal and wire braces are the things that adults remember whenever it comes to their braces, technology has marched on and now we have Invisalign. Invisalign is a plastic sheath that slips over the teeth and gradually moves your teeth into place, with different sheaths used over time under the teeth that are perfectly straight.
Clear aligners have been very popular and have been trending both among orthodontists and patients, and they are certainly recommended if you can afford them. Plus, the plastic sheaths are also nearly invisible to the eye, so that cuts out the potential embarrassment of wearing braces.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
Braces for kids cost quite a bit, although the actual price is going to depend on a few different factors. The cost for children on average is $3,000 to $7,000, but the cost can change. Depending on what your insurance or your Medicaid covers, or if you are eligible for a discount program, you could pay less than the average cost.
Additionally, due to the benefits, they provide clear aligners and Invisalign is very expensive, while the traditional metal braces are the cheapest option. Still, talk to your dentist and your health insurance provider in order to make sure you are getting the lowest price for your braces, because options are available if you need some help.
Make Sure To Get Braces For Your Child As Soon As You Can
While you might decide to put off getting braces for kids until you really need them, you should at the very least get a screening with your orthodontist and get your child’s mouth looked at. Most of the time these screenings are free and won’t take up much of your time, and they can give you solid next steps for your child’s oral health.
But if your child needs braces, try not to put them off. Instead you need to make sure that you get their braces as soon as you can so that you can take advantage of their benefits. The faster that your child gets increased oral health and a straighter and better smile, the faster they will be able to get the braces off and then show off their brand new smile to the world! Plus, as a parent you will be able to smile right along with your child!
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