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Some kids can’t wait to get their braces, seeing them as a sign that their teen years can’t be far behind. Others, though, worry about what they’ll feel or look like.
However your child feels, you probably have some questions and concerns of your own about braces. Here’s the lowdown on kids and braces.
Why Kids Need Braces
Kids can need braces for any number of reasons, including crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth, or a “bad bite” (known as malocclusion). Malocclusion is when there’s a difference in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws. When the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, it’s called an overbite. When the lower jaw is bigger, it’s called an underbite.
Sometimes tooth and jaw problems can be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. But often they’re inherited, so if you or someone in your family needed braces, it’s likely that your kids will, too.
Things You Can Do To Get Your Braces Off Quicker
Braces can help realign your teeth and make for a nice smile, but even so many people want to get them off as soon as possible. There are several things you can do to help keep your mouth clean and help let your braces do the work they need to. Some things you can do to help your get your braces off as soon as possible include:
Braces Do A Lot
Braces do a lot more than improve your smile. They also play an active role in correcting overcrowded and misaligned teeth. This is important because an abnormal bite (also known as “malocclusion”) may cause other problems, such as impaired plaque removal around misaligned teeth, which can lead to gum inflammation and cavities.
Taking good care of braces can help prevent damage to the braces themselves and the teeth underneath as well as make the braces more comfortable to wear. Learning the basics of orthodontic care will help you follow your dental professional’s recommendations to keep your teeth and gums healthy during the time you’re wearing braces.
The Basics: Brushing And Flossing
Careful cleaning is required with braces, because plaque bacteria are easily trapped inside and around them. The following procedure will make daily brushing and flossing both simple and effective.
Orthodontic treatments that use either braces or Invisalign are just few of the many techniques used by dental professionals in straightening the teeth of their patients. They straighten teeth to give them an ideal position, improve their look, and promote proper function. Invisalign utilizes a set of clear plastic trays as a means of achieving the position. Traditional braces, on the other hand, usually make use of metal wires with an aim of getting the most ideal movement or position for the teeth.
The good thing about orthodontic dental treatments that use braces or Invisalign is that they do more than just straighten the teeth. These are also valuable in correcting bite issues that often require special diagnosis and treatment.
Cleaning Dental Braces
Dental braces can create oral health problems such as gingivitis and decalcification (white marks), which lead to more serious issues.
- Gingivitis is the earliest sign of gum disease. It appears as red, swollen, and shiny gums that bleed easily. It is caused by plaque that irritates the gum tissue and causes an infection.
- Decalcification affects your tooth enamel, causing white spots or lesions on your teeth. It is caused by a combination of plaque and acid production after you eat and drink. Decalcification is impossible to correct, so prevention is critical.
You can minimize or prevent oral health problems caused by dental braces with good dental and orthodontic care.
After any orthodontic treatment, whether it be Invisalign or conventional braces, you need retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions and keep them straight.
Why wear retainers?
There is a very high likelihood of the movement of teeth after braces are removed or after Invisalign treatment, particularly within the first few months. This is because the gums and bone around your teeth need to readjust and firm up.
Also, as we age, our face matures and our jaws continue to change shape, which may result in tooth movement or crowding of the lower front teeth. Some people even believe the eruption of wisdom teeth can cause the teeth to be “pushed” forward; however, research does not substantiate this theory, as tooth movement can still occur whether you’ve had wisdom teeth removed or not.
Orthodontic braces perfect your smile by applying constant, steady pressure to move your teeth into proper position. The brackets and wires attached to your teeth are limited in the direction of the applied force, however. Some situations, particularly to correct bite problems, require the upper and lower rows of teeth to move relative to each other. Rubber bands, or elastics, hooked to the brackets apply tension in directions brackets and wires cannot achieve alone.
Elastics apply constant pressure to align the teeth in a perfect bite, states the website Rubber Bands for Braces. The lower jaw must move relative to the upper teeth for proper alignment. Braces alone only move teeth along the upper or lower arch.