Braces can be placed on patients of any age! That doesn’t mean that you’ll be doing at the best time, though. When it comes to putting braces on your children it can be hard to decide when the best time is. Do you put them on early and risk teeth moving out of place? Or do you wait until later when the social stigma of braces can hit hardest? It’s a difficult call!
At Panama City Smiles we’ve seen patients of all age groups for orthodontic treatment and we’ve learned that no matter the age braces can be a mentally tough treatment to undergo! It’s best to bite the bullet and get treatment done when your children are young. What age is best, however, can be different from patient to patient!
Getting Braces: The First Step
We always start our orthodontic sequences with a thorough examination of your child’s oral health. We want to be sure that their adult teeth are all either in or coming in, that they don’t have any serious cavities, and that their teeth are healthy and ready to undergo the pressures of orthodontic treatment.
The longer your child waits the more set their bone structure will become, making treatment longer and longer. For that reason we recommend that your child start their orthodontic treatment between the ages of 10 and 14. This is a good window in which most children will have all their permanent teeth come in, allowing us to make the most successful orthodontic treatment possible!
What Goes In To An Orthodontic Treatment?
Moving teeth is a complicated process! We start by taking a lot of X-rays, digital images, and models of your child’s teeth. We want to have the best understanding of their teeth possible so that we can maximize orthodontic effectiveness!
Once we have an idea of what treatments will be required and in what stages we’ll discuss your child’s treatment with both of you. We want this to be a collaborative effort in which you and your child get to provide feedback about their care!
The actual treatment process involves placing brackets on each tooth. These brackets are secured by using a special wire that is designed to want to spring back into shape. The wire pulls the teeth into the desired position bit by bit – that’s why we need to make adjustments!
Many orthodontic treatments are split into two phases. First we move the crowns of the teeth into the proper place and then we work to permanently reposition the root. This gives us the chance to stabilize your child’s teeth and provide great results that last a lifetime!
Caring For Braces
It’s essential that your child understand how to care for their braces during their orthodontic treatment. It starts with knowing what foods not to eat – sticky stuff, hard foods, and small bits that could get stuck between the wire and the teeth. It’s a bummer but a lot of their favorite sweets are probably off the table!
There’s also special practices that need to be maintained to ensure cleanliness of the braces. It’s tough to keep your teeth clean when they’re covered in wires and metal!
You also need to be sure that all appointments are kept! It’s essential that treatment proceeds on a regular schedule to ensure effectiveness and that the braces don’t need to stay on longer! The last thing your child would want when their orthodontic treatment is over is for it to keep going!
After The Braces Come Off
Teeth and bones can be moved but they don’t always want to stay where we put them. Your child will need to wear a retainer every day for the first few months and then nightly for the rest of their lives. Its important to keep up with retainer wear so their teeth stay in that great new smile!
Let’s Start Their Treatment Soon!
If you’re approaching that 10 to 14 year old window you should start thinking about your child’s orthodontic needs. Even if they’re still losing their baby teeth we can often make an assessment of their future needs!
To schedule an appointment for you or your children at Panama City Smiles just pick up the phone and call us at (850) 588-0185! You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you and your family soon!