Does Your Child Need Braces?: A Parent’s Guide
Many parents have questions when it comes to the need for braces and orthodontic care for their children. Is it necessary? How long will treatment take? Is the benefit worth the cost?
Orthodontics is the practice of correcting bad bites (malocclusion) and fixing protruding, crowding, or irregularly spaced teeth and jaw problems. If not fixed properly, crooked and crowded teeth can make it harder to brush and floss, and over time, can lead to a greater risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Not all children will need orthodontic care. So how will you know if your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment? Some risk factors include:
–The early loss of baby teeth
–Thumb sucking/pacifier use beyond the age of three
–Prolonged use of a baby bottle
–A family history of teeth and jaw problems
Your family dentist will be your best resource in knowing whether your child should be evaluated by an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment. Most dentists will make a recommendation based on your child’s needs.
A visit with and evaluation from an orthodontist can clear up any questions you have regarding how long the process will take, costs, benefits, and treatment options.
Having braces can require some patience, but the results are a beautiful smile that will not only give your child confidence but will improve their overall oral health.
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