Orthodontics for Kids, What do you Need to Know?

So many parents always wonder the ideal age for their kids to start using orthodontics like brackets.

Doctor Jorge Escobar. 07/10/2015

Looking after your kids’ oral health is crucial for their overall health. Brackets and orthodontics are used to fix a deficient bit or a wrong dental occlusion, it means, twisted teeth. In some of the cases, teeth are well positioned but the upper or lower jaw doesn’t match correctly. Kids are the most common patients for orthodontics, because at this age is when bite problems can be fixed better or twisted teeth can be easily relocated.

Which is the appropriate age to start using brackets?
Brackets in kids are usually placed at the age of 9 when they already have all the definitive teeth. At an early age, brackets aren’t used so often, if they were necessary, they are limited to the anterior area and for a very short period of time. Normally, removable orthodontics is more common when fixing bone problems taking the advantage of the growing stage, like arched palate.


Which is their function?
Brackets or orthodontics are attached to teeth for a period of time, to force dental movements through metal arches that are coupled on them, connected through a wire that periodically the orthodontist activates every month during the revision to, gradually, move teeth and jaw.

How long is the treatment?
Treatment plans vary, depending the case but normally is in between 12 and 24 months. In some cases it is necessary a previous removable orthodontics treatment, it can actually avoid the need of using fixed orthodontics and also it can help reducing the treatment’s time, so that the budget also gets reduced.


How many types can we find?
Current brackets are more comfy than ever. New materials that apply soft and constant strength to move the teeth y generally they require less adjustments. Types we can use:

  • Metal: the most used because of their size, how easy they are to collocate and because of their low cost.
  • Aesthetic brackets, there are different types: ceramic, porcelain or sapphire, they are transparent and are designed to harmonize with the natural colour of the enamel of a tooth. They make the same function the metal one make.
  • Invisible orthodontics: transparent and removable aligners totally invisible. Despite the use in kids is very low, we have to pay more attention to oral hygiene and periodic visits to the dentist.

Are they painful or non-comfy?
The incorporation of foreign elements into the mouth cavity usually produces discomfort, galls, or some pain but it is tolerable and it disappears in just a few days. Between these recommendations we can find also: a soft diet during the first days, anti-inflammatories occasionally or applying wax where we have galls.


What should we do after the orthodontics treatment?
After the treatment, a retainer has to be used at the end to maintain the reached changes by the orthodontics, avoiding the teeth to go back to their old place. There are fixed ones or transparent ferules.

As it happens in other specialities, in orthodontics we can’t establish general rules, because what is good for a patient can be counterproductive. Because of this reason the best treatment is always the one recommended by our dentist and the one attending to our needs and lifestyle of our kids.

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