Braces for kids of about one-third of all children need orthodontic treatment (1). Baby braces are used to align crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth, close abnormal gaps between teeth, and correct bites.
So that the upper and lower teeth come in contact when closing the mouth (2). Read more about the types, indications, benefits, and tips for maintaining oral hygiene when using orthodontic appliances for children.
Braces for Kids and What Are the Types of Baby Irons:
Here are the most popular orthodontic appliances for children (3).
1. Metal Braces:
- The most common choice for children
- Small metal braces are attached to each tooth, while a metal wire passes through these brackets and joins them together.
- A wire is attached to the supports with rubber bands.
- The desired movement of the teeth is achieved by tightening the braces for kids wire where needed at regular intervals.
- Various tire color options are available.
2. Ceramic Braces:
- It serves the same function as metal braces.
- The result and the duration of the treatment are the same for metal and ceramic braces.
- Made of transparent or tooth-colored material to match the tooth color.
- The wire that passes through the arms is made of metal, which can also be coated with tooth-colored material.
- It is preferred by older children who are more aware of their appearance.
3. Tongue Braces:
- Metal braces and wires are used, but they are placed on the inside of the teeth, ie on the side of the tongue/palate.
- Aesthetic way of correcting misaligned teeth as their position makes them difficult to locate.
- Older children or young adults who are worried about their appearance usually choose these tongue braces.
- Due to the difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene with braces, this option is beneficial as the stain on the teeth is not visible on the outer surface.
- The treatment lasts longer than with the splints attached to the front surface of the teeth.
- Not suitable for younger children with smaller teeth.
- Invisalign are removable orthodontic appliances.
- Available as a set of clean, removable aligners that help move teeth as needed.
- They are difficult to observe and are aesthetically pleasing.
- Removed two to four hours a day for eating, brushing, etc.
- Useful for 11-year-olds provided all of their deciduous teeth have fallen out and can be designed to go through their permanent teeth.
- It may not work as expected if children do not wear them for the recommended duration and parental attention is required.
- It must be removed each time before eating or drinking anything other than water.
- Failure to observe this precaution can cause staining of the teeth and Aligners, resulting in food bumps and subsequent tooth decay.
5. Clear Aligners at Home:
- Work with the same principles as Invisalign.
- Frequent visits to the dentist are not necessary.
- Many cheap and fake options are available on the internet, which is ineffective and should be avoided.
Why Do Babies Need Braces?
The following signs may indicate a child’s need for braces (3) (4).
- Loss of deciduous teeth too late or too early
- Teeth incorrectly aligned, crowded, or crooked
- New teeth popping up in the wrong place
- Missing teeth
- Having extra teeth
- Teeth that do not come in contact with each other (open bite) (5)
- The upper teeth protrude further forward than the lower (overbite)
- The lower teeth protrude further in front of the upper teeth (lower abdomen) (6)
- Difficulty eating or biting
- An accidental bite to the cheek can often occur during chewing
- Sucking the thumb or using a pacifier over six years
- Wrong jaw position
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
- Dealing with problems of self-esteem or self-confidence due to uneven teeth
Braces for Kids and How Do Baby the Braces Work?
The splints exert constant pressure on the teeth for a long time and this pressure gradually rotates and moves the teeth. As the teeth move to their new positions, the bone socket of each tooth will form new fibers that hold the tooth in place, holding the tooth firmly in place (7).
What Is the Good Age for a Child to Get Braces?
According to the American dental association, orthodontic treatment often begins between the ages of eight and 14. Therefore, starting treatment. While the baby is still growing could give optimal results. However, adults can also use splints, but it may take longer for them to get the same results (8).
The American Orthodontic Association recommends that all children undergo orthodontic evaluation by the age of about seven. This is because, around the age of seven, children have a mixture of dairy and permanent teeth. The dentist will suggest if your child needs treatment and the expected result (9).
How Long Should a Child Wear Braces?
- The severity of the problem
- Amount of space available in the jaws
- The distance a tooth has to travel
- The overall health of supporting teeth, gums, and bones
- How well the child follows the instructions
- On average, once the brackets are in place, they usually stay in place for about one to three years.
What Happens if a Wrong Bite Is Not Treated?
An incorrect untreated bite can lead to the following oral health problems (8).
- Rotten teeth
- Gum disease
- Premature tooth loss
- Speech changed
- Chewing problems
- Abnormal wear of tooth enamel
- Jaw problems
Braces for Kids and What to Feed a Child With the Appliance?
Low-sugar foods that do not require excessive biting or chewing are preferred by children who wear braces. Such foods can include (10).
- Dairy products such as smoothies, cheeses, and yogurt.
- Soft fruit and vegetables or cut into wedges
The following foods should be avoided with orthodontic braces (10).
- Chewable foods (such as licorice and lollipops)
- Crunchy foods (like popcorn and chips)
- Sticky foods (like snickers, chewing gum, and candy)
- Hard foods (like pretzels and nuts)
- Foods that need a heavy bite (such as raw carrots, corn, and whole apples)
- Foods with too much sugar (such as sweets)
- Juices or sugary drinks (such as energy drinks, sodas, and cordial)
How to Take Care of Orthodontic Appliances and Teeth?
The following tips can help eliminate or reduce oral health problems in children with splints (11) (12).
- Brush your teeth thoroughly after each meal with an orthodontic toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- As food sticks easily to braces and needs to be cleaned.
- Daily dental floss between teeth and splints.
- Do professional teeth cleaning every six months or as often as your orthodontist recommends.
- Limiting your child’s sugar and starch intake can help reduce tooth decay or plaque build-up.
- Use a mouthwash suitable for children.