The most crucial time for dental health in anyone’s life is during childhood. It is when you learn about dental hygiene and how to care for your teeth. It is also the best time for your dentist to correct whatever may be wrong with the teeth so that there is a better chance of going into adulthood with a good set. That is why it is more common for children to have and need braces than adults.
How Can You Determine Whether Your Child Needs Braces?
The first signs that your child will need braces are usually quite evident. However, the best way to decide is by keeping a close eye on their dental health and the state of their teeth throughout their formative years. Some of the more common signs that it may be necessary to consult a dentist’s opinion on giving your child braces include:
- Crooked teeth that don’t seem to be straightening out on their own- particularly if they are permanent teeth.
- Jaw misalignment- evidenced by underbites or overbites.
- Unconventional spacing between growing teeth.
You must also remember that braces are not just a cosmetic dental accessory. Anytime they are utilised, they serve a crucial purpose, primarily adjusting teeth to avoid further complications and correct and enhance their appearance. Moreover, installing braces in a child’s mouth is significantly advantageous as their jaw and tooth structure is still soft enough to be easily malleable.
When Is the Best Time for A Child to Get Braces?
While most conventional guidelines state that the optimum time to be fitted with braces lies between 10 to 14 years old, the more accurate answer is more nuanced than that. In reality, the actual ideal timing varies from person to person. Moreover, you should only set a firm date after extensive consultations with an orthodontist.
Note that the age range recommendation provided above also factors in your child’s cognitive development. Therefore, it is advisable to aim for these ages since your child will have a clearer understanding of why they need the braces in the first place and how to care for them after installation.
What If Your Child Is Reluctant to Receive Orthodontic Treatment?
In case of reluctance, then there are a few ways you can get to the bottom of the hesitation and help your child be more receptive to seeing an orthodontist, including:
- Be a source of information and reassurance. Setting aside some time to sit with your child and address their questions and concerns can help alleviate some of their anxiety. For even better results, encourage them to speak with someone who had braces before or a peer that got a recent installation.
- Allow them to make some minor decisions regarding their braces. For example, giving them the freedom to choose the band colours will instil a sense of confidence borne of control. In addition, they get to express themselves based on the options they select.
- If possible, give them an adjustment period after installation to get used to their braces and how they look with them. Therefore, if you can, make an effort to arrange their orthodontist’s appointment while they are out of school for the holidays.
- Finally, offer your child some encouragement by introducing proper care and perseverance incentives throughout the treatment period. A reward system will act as a powerful motivator at every turn.
Your child’s need for braces does not have to spell the end of the world. You may set up an appointment with your orthodontist for a consultation where they help you explain why braces can be the ideal short-term dental solution for excellent long-term outcomes.