Dentistry and Orthodontics

child orthodontics

The basics of braces for parents

Braces are very common in children’s orthodontics.

Whereas some children can’t wait to get their braces, seeing them as a sign that they’re getting all grown up; others might be anxious or concerned about what to expect, and self-conscious of how noticeable traditional braces are.

If your child is worried about having to have braces, then don’t worry. We have all the information you need as a parent to help you and your child through the process.

Why do children need braces?

As adult teeth replace milk teeth and the jaw continues to grow, some children’s teeth grow in wonky, crooked or overlapping. Malocclusions might also develop, such as croosbite, overbite and underbite.

These are all perfectly natural and a sign that your child’s mouth is growing! Read more.

Frequent visits to the dentist will allow any problems with the alignment of your child’s teeth to be spotted early. Your child may be referred to an orthodontist for further review of whether or not they need braces.

Most children visit the orthodontist around the age of 7 or 8. But other children develop problems a lot later, and even adults visit the orthodontist for alignment solutions!

What happens during a visit to the orthodontist?

  1. An orthodontist will examine your child’s teeth, mouth and jaw.
  2. They will ask the child to bite together and ask questions about chewing, speaking, biting and swallowing.
  3. The orthodontist will take x-rays of the mouth and teeth to gain a better insight into their position.
  4. They might want to make an impression of your child’s teeth too. This will help the orthodontist decide on which treatment will be most effective for your child.

What kinds of braces are there?

Depending on your child’s orthodontic needs, your dentist will offer a number of options:

Traditional metal braces – the most common and effective solution for children. These are made up of wires, brackets, and rubber bands. These braces are attached and fixed to the teeth and tightened incrementally in each visit.

Clear removable braces – these are clear trays moulded to your child’s teeth. These are more suitable for older children and very minor misalignment issues. The most famous brand of clear aligner is Invisalign. Learn more.

Caring for braces:

Make sure that you help your child take good care of their braces:

  • They should avoid certain chewy, sticky or hard foods
  • They should floss and brush daily. More.
  • Book your child in for regular dental cleanings and check-ups
  • If they experience discomfort, over-the-counter pain relief will ease any pain

For more major orthodontic cases, you may be able to get your child’s braces on the NHS, however, it is best to speak with an expert orthodontist about your various options for treatment and funding. See more.