Braces for Teens
As parents, we want what is best for our kids. From the moment they get that first little nub on their gums when they are infants to losing their first tooth in second grade, we are constantly monitoring their mouths to make sure everything is coming in right. For developing teenagers, everything seems to be changing at an alarming rate, and the mouth is no different. Blue Summit Dental Group understands how crucial these growing years can be for your teen and would like to help you get a head start on preventing developmental issues by offering braces for teens that may need them.
Why Your Teen May Need Braces
There can be any number of reasons why your teenager may need to have a realignment. If their teeth are overlapping or crooked, this could cause problems with basic dental care. Flossing can become quite difficult and may cause cavities in the permanent teeth. Though some problems can be caused by former habits, such as sucking the thumb, usually dental issues are genetic. Knowing which relatives in the family required braces can help you know if your child is likely to need them as well.
Many children start losing their baby teeth at around the age of seven. Once they start to come in, it is a good time to schedule their first orthodontic appointment with us. The mouth and jaw are also likely to be checked because if there are any clicks or noted difficulties chewing or swallowing, it may be important to begin treatment immediately. X-rays are usually recommended to see the extent of any potential complications. As soon as their next visit, we can begin restoring their smiles.
How Braces Work
If you have seen people with braces already, then you are probably already familiar with what they look like. In general, they are small metal squares, called brackets, that are adhered to your tooth. You can get white or clear ceramic brackets for a less noticeable appearance. They are all connected by wire and some rubber bands, which can come in many different colors. Braces can also be applied to the opposite side of the tooth as well, for less visibility.
About every two weeks, during a checkup, the wires may be tightened. This guides the tooth into a better location. Afterward, a retainer can be worn to help prevent your teeth from going back to their original positions. Depending on the amount of work done, it usually takes about two years from start to finish to achieve the desired results.
Caring for braces can take a little more work than regular oral hygiene. Since food can get stuck behind the wires and around the brackets, not only can it be unsightly, but also if left there can cause plaque buildup and promote tooth decay. Some foods may have to be avoided entirely, including chewy candy and gum. If there is discomfort after a checkup, over-the-counter medicine can help quite nicely. Be sure that if a wire comes undone or a bracket is loose, you let us know immediately!
Because communication can be critical to childhood development, it is always important to ensure their mouths are in the best possible shape throughout all stages of their lives. Straight, healthy teeth now can promote the confidence necessary to achieve their dreams in the future. For more information about braces, please come see us here at Blue Summit Dental Group or call us at (810) 658-9177 to schedule an appointment.