One phrase that many children dislike hearing is “you are going to need braces.” No matter the reason, children seldom enjoy the idea of having metal brackets in their mouth for a year or more. Hearing stories from other children or seeing the stereotype on TV, children assume that braces are large and cumbersome tools than ruin their life.
With the advances in dental technology, braces are now more compact than ever before to provide a less-noticeable appearance. If children do not want to customize the color of the bands, then they can select clear or silver to help the braces blend in with the teeth. We understand that children will have a lot of questions about braces and may not understand the end result of the braces. Thus, here are a few questions and answers to why braces are important for children.
What do braces help prevent?
Braces help to straighten crooked teeth. While crooked teeth may not cause pain for the child, they can trap plaque and other food particles in difficult-to-reach places. Children will have trouble reaching these places with brushing and flossing. Since we are not present every day to clean the teeth, children will not be able to keep these areas clean.
We use braces to straighten the teeth gradually and remove these spaces. Braces can also help to correct the alignment of a child’s bite. Braces are an excellent treatment option for children who need straighter teeth.
Will the braces be removable?
The braces are not removable. While there are other teeth-straightening options for patients, they are usually for older patients who are more responsible. Braces for kids need to stay in the mouth so that the child does not damage, misplace them or forget to put them back in the mouth after a meal. The parent can ask questions about straightening options during a consultation.
How long will the braces treatment take?
The braces treatment process can last anywhere from one and a half to two years, depending on the state of the child’s teeth, if the child damages the braces at any point by eating certain foods or if we need to remove the braces to treat one of the teeth. However, if the child remains on the original treatment plan and follows the instructions, then the process should not take longer than expected.
Will the treatment limit any foods or drinks?
Yes, the braces treatment will limit what a child eats or drinks. Foods and beverages that the child will need to avoid include:
- Hard, sticky or chewy candy (taffy, caramel, bubble gum, lollipops, jaw breakers, gummi bears, etc.)
- Hard cookies/crackers
- Corn on the cob
While these are only some of the foods, we can give parents a complete list during the appointment with recommendations for what a child can consume when wearing braces.
Will it be difficult to floss with braces?
Yes. Fortunately, we have several possible options for patients. One solution is to buy and use floss picks that have a small amount of floss already on them and can make it easier to get the areas above and below the bracket. While floss picks are incredibly affordable, parents may prefer the more expensive water picks option. A water pick cleans the teeth by shooting a stream of water instead of using a thread. We will recommend the most effective option once we place the braces on the child’s teeth.
Will I have to get braces again after the first time?
While some people do need braces a second time, other patients do not. Contrary to popular belief, adults may choose to wear braces again to straighten crooked teeth that fall out of alignment. Thus, we try to straighten teeth as early as possible so if the patient does need braces again, we can place them when the patient is still fairly young.
Will it hurt placing the braces on my teeth?
While there may be some minor soreness following the procedure, the patient will not feel any intense pain. The soreness can last for the first few days following the procedure, but will fade with time. We recommend eating softer foods during that time to ease into eating with the braces.
Call Us Today
If you think your child is in need of braces or another type of treatment, do not hesitate to give us a call at (813) 518-0641. We will answer any questions and schedule an appointment to begin the child’s treatment. Do not hesitate to help lay the groundwork for a life of healthy teeth in your child by calling us today.
If you would like to learn more about oral health diet and the various treatments we provide, call (813) 518-0641 to schedule a consultation.
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