What To Expect When Your Child Gets Braces

4 min read
What To Expect When Your Child Gets Braces

Getting braces is a sign that your baby is growing up. While some kids are more than happy to have braces put on, others are less than thrilled about the procedure. Usually, it has something to do with what their friends are doing that persuades them that braces are cool or not. Either way, here is what you can expect when your child is getting braces.

How Do I Know if My Child Needs Braces?

Braces are designed to correct alignment problems in the mouth by putting steady pressure on the teeth. They are used to fix overbites, underbites and crooked teeth.

Braces come in a number of colours and styles these days. Some are made up of wires and rubber bands and come in a number of different colours while others are clear and removable that use plastic trays called aligners rather than wires.  Some braces go behind the teeth (lingual braces) while other devices, such as headgear, go around the head.

Your First Appointment

During the first visit, the orthodontist will need to make a mould of your child’s mouth. This is done so he can determine the best plan of action to take when correcting your child’s teeth. The mould is done by pressing a tray of gooey material into the top and bottom of the child’s teeth. Once the impression is done, the orthodontist will remove the mould and allow it to harden. This provides a replica of your child’s teeth. The orthodontist will also take x-rays of the mouth to help decide on the best strategy forward.

Getting Braces On

Getting your child’s braces on will generally take 1 to 2 hours. Your child will lay down in a chair, similar to when at the dentist for a clean-up and the orthodontist will work over him. He will use a bright light to see what he is doing and he will most likely use a mouth guard to hold the child’s mouth slightly open. The orthodontist will need to clean and dry your child’s teeth before applying the bonding glue to the teeth.  Once the bonding glue in on, he will attach the brackets and place the archwire in the brackets. Finally, the braces are secured with elastic bands.

While the procedure doesn’t hurt, your child will probably have a sore mouth from the position and pressure on his teeth and jaw from the new braces. It can cause mild pain for around a week. Another concern are mouth sores which can occur on the top and bottom inside lips. This occurs because this area is not used to the pressure and feeling of the braces. You can purchase mouth wax from the orthodontist which can be placed on the sore spots to relieve the rubbing. After about a month, most children are completely used to their braces and have no concerns.

Brace Care and Follow Up

Braces work by putting pressure on your teeth so that over time they move. Every time your child has his braces tightened, you can expect him to feel some pain, especially when chewing and opening and closing the jaw. Orthodontists recommend offering pain relief for the first couple of days. The pressure feeling will subside after a couple of days.

Your child will need to visit the Orthodontist for regular check-ups every few weeks. During this time the orthodontist will most likely adjust the braces and check that everything is okay. There are some foods that children will braces should avoid including toffee and sticky lollies, gum and popcorn. Children should also get in the habit of brushing and flossing after every meal to avoid tooth decay.

How long your child will have braces on will depend on his situation but, on average, children will require braces for two years.

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