Braces for Children

Braces For Children and Kids and Orthodontic Treatment

Children Braces and Braces For Kids

Many children are ambivalent about getting braces.  On one hand, they like the idea of perfect teeth, but on the other hand, they are nervous about whether the braces will cause pain and discomfort.  The good news is that the placement of orthodontic braces is not at all painful, and the end result will be a beautiful straight smile.

Although patients of any age can benefit from orthodontic braces, they tend to work much quicker before the teens years since they are still experiencing jaw growth. We recommends that children should get an orthodontic evaluation at around the age of seven years old.  An orthodontic examination can be beneficial before age seven if facial or oral irregularities are noted. Many times, a lot of orthodontic problems such as overbite, underbite, or misaligned teeth can be prevented if the child is seen early. Here at Manoa Dental, we are able to expand the jaw so the teeth have room to erupt straight and in proper alignment. 

Click Here for Before/After Photos on Braces for Children

What Causes misalignment of teeth?

Poorly aligned teeth often cause problems speaking, biting and chewing.  Most irregularities are genetic or occur as a result of developmental issues.  Conversely, some irregularities are acquired or greatly exacerbated by certain habits and behaviors such as:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Prolonged pacifier use
  • Prolonged bottle use
  • Tongue tie
  • Improper swallow
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition

What’s involved when a child gets braces?

We initially conducts a visual examination of the child’s teeth.  This will be accompanied by panoramic X-rays, study models (bite impressions), and computer generated images of the head and neck.  These preliminary assessments are sometimes known as the “planning phase” because they aid the orthodontic evaluation in making a diagnosis and planning the most effective treatment.

In many cases, Dr. Do and Dr. Choy will recommend a simple functional removable appliance for a child. Fixed braces are mostly used on non-growing teen or adults. With children, it's more important to GUIDE the teeth and jaw to develop properly and to our patient's full potential growth. These removable appliances are less intrusive and are generally used to treat various types of defects.

Here is a brief overview of some of the main types of orthodontic appliances used on children:

  • Removable or Fixed Functional Appliances - These appliances are there to guide the teeth and the jaw into proper alignment and position. These appliances basically make room so the jaw will have room for the teeth to erupt. Sometimes, myofunctional therapy are used in conjunction with appliance therapy. Myofunctional therapy include oral posture. For more information. Click HERE on Functional orthodontic.  
  • Fixed braces – Braces are mostly recommended when the teeth have already erupted crooked and the jaws are already out of alignment. Braces comprised of brackets that are affixed to each individual tooth and an archwire that connects the brackets.  The brackets are usually made of metal, ceramic, or a clear synthetic material which is less noticeable to the naked eye.  After braces have been applied, the child will have regular appointments to have the braces adjusted.  Orthodontic elastic bands are often added to the braces to aid in the movement of specific teeth. 

If you have questions about braces for children, please contact our office.

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