Braces: FAQ

For many teens and even adults, braces are expected at some point in life in order to obtain a healthy, straight smile. If the time has come for you and your child to consider orthodontics, it is not uncommon for you to have a number of questions. Here are a few questions that may arise as well as their answers.

What Exactly Can Braces Treat?

Ideally, braces are designed to repair issues with alignment, such as underbites, overbites, and crossbites. In addition, they can help to fix crooked or crowded teeth. In some of the more severe cases, braces can fix issues with jaw alignment. When you and your child go in for an initial consultation with an orthodontist, he or she will look at your child's mouth to determine what the best approach for treatment will be.

When Should Your Child Receive Braces?

As soon as your child gets all of his or her permanent teeth, an orthodontic examination should be scheduled. As a general rule, this should occur sometime between the ages of 10 and 14. During this time, the teeth will no longer be shifting and it will be the best time to undergo treatment. Apart from wisdom teeth potentially coming in and causing some issues several years later, there should be minimal issues that may undo the results of the orthodontic treatment.

How Long Will Your Child Require the Braces?

Each child is different, so it is hard to say exactly how long your child will need to undergo orthodontic treatment. However, the basic treatment timeline is between 18 months and three years. Some factors that contribute to the timeline include the severity of the alignment, how your child's teeth respond to the treatment, and how your child cares for his or her braces. The best thing you and your child can do is to get to an orthodontist early on to undergo an exam and get treatment as soon as advised.

Are There Any Alternatives?

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, braces tend to be the best, though there are indeed alternative treatments. For instance, a discreet and removable option is Invisalign. However, this treatment tends to be recommended for older teenagers and adults due to the level of care that is required. In addition, there are clear and hidden braces that can be affixed to the backside of the teeth, which are also not recommended for younger children.

For more information, get in touch with an orthodontist in your area.