Braces are used in orthodontic treatment. Contrary to popular belief, braces come in a variety of versions. They can be multi-attachment or multi-ring. In some cases, we can even see space maintainers. Orthodontists use braces to correct misalignment. Misalignment is caused by a variety of factors. It manifests itself in many different ways. Dental problems affect not only the teeth, but also the jaws.
In medical terms, this means malocclusion. But at what age are braces recommended for children?
One of our previous articles is the complete guide to teaching children to brush their teeth. This article is the ultimate guide to the right age for braces.
At the arrival of permanent teeth
The adoption of braces should be approved by the dentist. This medical professional regularly checks your child’s teeth. He or she is the first to notice any misalignment of the teeth. Parents will then contact an orthodontist.
However, you’ll know that attempts to align teeth will seem futile if the operation is performed before the eruption of permanent teeth. It’s worth noting that baby teeth fall out between the ages of 5 and 6. They are born in precise order of appearance. First come the central incisors. Next, the lateral incisors appear in the child’s mouth.
Other teeth gradually appear as the child ages and the temporary teeth fall out. There are the first premolars, canines and premolars. As a rough guide, permanent teeth will be in place by the age of 13. The age of the teeth is therefore the basis for dental care.
Orthodontics before age 7
In view of the above information, it’s a good idea to start with a preventive consultation at the age of 6 or 7. Dentists will then be able to quickly resolve any discrepancies between the jaws. This is also the time when the child’s incisors are replaced.
Theoretically, the child will be able to wear braces once the first permanent teeth appear. At that point, the child will have mixed teeth. They are made up of a mixture of provisional and peremptory teeth.
That said, there are cases where treatment must be carried out early. In severe cases, orthodontists will install the device on the teeth of a child aged 4 or 5. This is particularly the case when the lower jaw shows an abnormal state of advancement. Another example is facial asymmetry (deviated chin).
The sooner young patients undergo orthodontic treatment, the better the results. And the later the operation is performed, the more limits will be seen in its functioning.
Children’s braces: When should braces be fitted?
There are certain telltale signs that influence a dentist’s decision to fit braces. Apart from jaw misalignment, there’s also a lack of space. In addition, teeth should not be exposed to overlapping or crowding. In this sense, it’s inconceivable to have teeth that are placed too far apart.
To assess the distance, dentists use dental floss. It should pass easily between two teeth without obstruction. Conversely, teeth that are too close together can be seen. In this case, the device is not the only viable solution. The solution to this modern form of malocclusion is extraction. This is an alternative to be used as a last resort.
The dental appliance forces the tooth into the desired position. Likewise, the metal tool is used to spread the tooth. The expected outcome is a clear improvement in dental aesthetics and functionality. Braces can be fitted around the age of 12 or 13. The permanent teeth are then in place to resolve any malpositioning.
Why fit braces on a child’s teeth?
Dental problems are the after-effects of many phenomena, such as thumb-sucking. It’s also a question of heredity. For example, a member of an ancestor’s family may have teeth that are crooked or misaligned. You’ll know that misaligned teeth accelerate enamel wear. There are also other health repercussions. These include poor chewing quality. The installation of braces is therefore essential from a child’s earliest years.
They also ensure good oral hygiene when teeth are narrowed. In this configuration, cleaning is not efficient. The child is then faced with cavities. This situation will accompany him into adulthood. Braces are also designed to prevent the risk of gingivitis. Two types of braces are available for young patients. The medical professional can specify removable or fixed braces.
How is orthodontic treatment carried out?
Orthodontic treatment is organized in several stages. First, the doctor performs an expansion phase. In technical terms, this is called palatal expansion. It corrects defects in the upper part of the jaw. It is designed to prevent future occlusions. The technique artificially enlarges the palate. The mechanism used is called a ring. It is a fixed dental appliance.
The expansion phase
Since these are fixed braces, it’s useful to have a number of attachment systems. These are the permanent teeth, such as the upper premolars. They will hold wires that act as springs. The element is connected to two enlarging brackets. An anchoring system is another idea. This presupposes the use of a plate. It infiltrates the palate. The braces are manually enlarged every day. To do this, simply turn the cylinder a quarter turn.
After the expansion phase, dentists use brackets. They help the metal wires to run along the teeth. The wires are responsible for moving the teeth. During the procedure, it is essential to consider the diameters of the teeth.
At the end of the treatment, the bonded bra ckets are removed from the child’s teeth. Here again, it’s essential to apply what’s known as the retention phase. The important thing to know is that teeth will return to their incorrect positions without this method. In this procedure, a small appliance is worn while the child sleeps.
What are the different types of braces?
Dental and jaw deformities can be corrected with appliances other than braces. A distinction needs to be made between classic braces and multi-braces.
Classic braces are used repeatedly in most cases. They offer innumerable advantages, such as attractive cost. On the other hand, they can be a source of embarrassment because of their lack of discretion.
Multi-rings offer greater delicacy thanks to the materials they are made from. They are mainly made of ceramic. They are attached with metal dental wires. You may also come across special braces for night-time use. These include face masks. It helps optimize spacing. Interceptive braces also fall into this category.
Braces don’t always sit on the face of the teeth. They can be hidden in the lower parts. In this case, we use the lingual method. This approach allows the device to be concealed behind the teeth. However, the tongue will tend to come into contact with the metal part. For your information, there are transparent braces. These are known as disposable aligners. For reasons of hygiene, they should be changed every 15 days.
What is the practical information on fitting braces?
The time it takes to realign teeth depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the problem. The minimum time is 6 months. It can take up to 2 years, or even longer. Patients often experience pain after braces have been fitted.
However, brackets are now miniature. They cause less daily discomfort. Pain diminishes after 1 or 2 days. In the meantime, the dentist may prescribe painkillers. Rubbing the brackets on the cheeks also causes pain. Two approaches are possible. Either the orthodontist cuts the wires close to the cheeks. Or, he or she may recommend the use of orthodontic waxes.
In conclusion, braces can be applied from the age of 7. In complex cases, however, braces can be introduced at around age 5. To guarantee effective treatment, however, it is advisable to wait until the permanent teeth have erupted. Once braces are in place, they can only be removed once the treatment has been completed.
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