Life with Braces for Kids
What Parents & Children Can Expect
Having your child start braces can be an exciting and anxiety-inducing experience at the same time, and we understand this better than most here at Shirck Orthodontics because we’ve treated countless children over the years! If you want to get a better idea of what to expect during your child’s orthodontic treatment, you’ll find plenty of helpful information on this page, and if you ever have any questions, you’re always welcome to give your orthodontist in Columbus a call.
Signs That Your Child is Ready to Start Orthodontic Treatment
Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need a referral from your child’s general dentist to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. We recommend bringing your little one to come see us around the age of 7, because at this stage of oral development, we’ll be able to tell whether or not your child will require orthodontic care before more serious issues occur. However, you should bring your child to come see us earlier than 7 if you notice any of the following issues:
- Misaligned or rotated teeth
- Crowding/overlapping teeth
- Large spaces between teeth
- Your child has problems speaking or eating because of their teeth
- They have an obvious overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
The Benefits of Early-Age Orthodontics
Applying orthodontic treatment at an early age allows our team to address any current issues a child might have with their teeth and bite while also preventing others from happening in the future. We can gently direct the growth of a child’s mouth and jaws so that they are able to speak, eat, and even breathe more comfortably, plus we can create enough room so the adult teeth come in as straight as possible. This means less time and care will be needed to correct any misaligned permanent teeth, plus your child will enjoy a more attractive and healthy smile during their formative years.
How to Keep Your Child Comfortable with Braces
Any parent with a child who has already completed or is currently undergoing orthodontic treatment will tell you that making a few adjustments is necessary to ensure they remain comfortable throughout the process. While a little soreness is normal after having braces put on or adjusted, these handy tips will help you and your child enjoy a smooth journey towards their new smile…
Right after your child has gotten braces, or if they’ve just been tightened, it’s OK to have them take an OTC pain medication to reduce any tenderness. Rinsing with warm salt water a few times an hour should help as well. This discomfort should go away on its own after a few days.
Kids Who Play Sports
If you have an athletic child, then it’s extremely important that you have them wear a mouthguard specifically designed to fit over orthodontics whenever they go to play. This will not only protect their teeth, lips, and gums from an unexpected impact, but it will also preserve their appliance and ensure a small accident on the field doesn’t lead to additional months of treatment.
Kids Who Play Instruments
Does your child play a wind instrument like clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, or trombone? If they started playing before getting braces, it might take them a few days to adjust, but eventually, they won’t even think about their appliance. Applying some dental wax to particularly sensitive areas can help tremendously as well.
Sleeping with Braces
Ideally, your child should try to sleep on their back with braces, as lying on their side can lead to the appliance uncomfortably pressing on the back of the lips. Be sure to apply dental wax to any areas of irritation at bedtime, and be prepared to be patient. The first couple of nights might not be great, but after a few days, your child’s mouth will adapt, and they should be able to sleep like normal.
Help with Orthodontic Emergencies
Life with children can be unpredictable, so if your child loses an elastic, a bracket comes loose, or if they’re dealing with a poking wire, you can always give Shirck Orthodontics a call. We’ll help you deal with the situation over the phone, and if needed, we can bring your child in for a same-day appointment to provide the relief they need without delay.
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