Orthodontic treatment for children is a term many parents dread hearing. Whether you have friends with horror stories over the cost of braces, or people that had to have restorative dental treatment after their braces were removed, there is no question that talking about braces can be stressful. Fortunately at Pediatric Dentistry of Burke, we focus on finding ways to help parents plan for orthodontic treatments so they know what to expect as their children grow. When children receive routine dental examinations and cleanings, we always look at the developing teeth and their growing jaw structure. With some children, it’s easy to tell that crowding is an issue and orthodontic treatments may be in your future. Some parents are starting braces at younger ages, by 6 or 7 in certain situations, because it takes advantage of the fact that the child’s jaw is still growing and can aid in helping to improve the issues during development of the jaws and dental arches.
When Do Children Need Braces?
In most situations, orthodontic offices are seeing patients come in before or around the age of 12. Orthodontic treatment normally begins when all the baby teeth have fallen out and the 12-year molars are close to erupting, or have erupted. We start to examine patients for orthodontic planning around the age of six, and can recommend certain treatments if we know crowding is an issue. Dental spacers are often used to ensure the permanent teeth can erupt in the correct position. If you have a child that sucked their thumb when they were younger, you may see some orthodontic treatment in the future due to developmental damage.
Cost of Braces
Patients always want to know how much money they need to anticipate when planning for braces. The cost isn’t something we can offer as we do not provide orthodontic treatments besides dental spacers. However, we have spoken to several orthodontists in the area and they say the average costs are roughly between $3,000 to $7,000, based on the type of braces and amount of work needed. We do find most orthodontists are willing to provide patient’s with payment plans, making braces a little more affordable for parents.
Why Do Kids Need Braces?
Without proper treatment, crooked, overlapped, and overcrowded teeth will lead to problems. From speech impediments to difficulty eating, it is important to understand how tooth and jaw problems could impact your child if you do not take them for proper orthodontic treatment. If we notice concerns, we will discuss them with you prior to recommending an orthodontist in the area. Starting the process early is the best way to limit the damage that could occur.
Caring for Braces
If you do have a child with braces, we recommend teaching them to work harder to clean their teeth. Braces are often glued to the teeth and it can be challenging to remove bacteria and food particles from the teeth. Brushing after meals is vital to preventing the enamel from developing cavities and stains. Regular dental visits are necessary for our office to continue monitoring the teeth and gums for any signs of problems. Orthodontic offices will provide a food eating guide to help children understand what foods must be avoided to prevent problems with their braces and to avoid serious dental decay issues.