The Benefits of Wearing Braces as a Child Versus an Adult

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With the unique advancement in orthodontic technology, it’s no longer your “grandma’s braces” at Shenandoah Valley Orthodontics. With clear aligners, we can design a custom plan to achieve specific tooth movements as efficiently as possible, even for our little smiles. Finding the time in your busy schedule may be difficult, but increasing your “face value” is the investment of a lifetime.

Kids are often excited about their braces or clear aligners, seeing it as a rite of passage, transitioning from being a child to finally being a teenager. Teens and adults, however, often feel self-conscious wearing braces, which is why we offer clear aligner therapy as an option to fit your lifestyle.

Summertime Is a Great Time to Begin Orthodontic Treatment

Summertime usually means more free time for you or your child to adjust to the braces or clear aligners. The new cleaning routines, eating habits, and physical changes can be extensive initially, so we encourage you to find the best time for your smile and lifestyle. Beginning orthodontic treatment during the summer is often ideal because of the free time they have to adjust. Children are highly adaptable and respond well to a routine. Once this new routine is established and encouraged, we see amazing results.

Would you rather get your oil changed periodically or have to replace your entire engine or buy a whole new vehicle!? Receiving early orthodontic treatment allows our orthodontists to work on their growing smile, preventing more invasive treatments – such as extractions of adult teeth or surgery – later on, and possibly shortening treatment time overall. Receiving orthodontic care at a younger age is about being PROACTIVE. Our orthodontists can spot growth, crowding and eruption issues to make sure your child has room for their adult teeth to come in properly.

Why Kids Need Orthodontics

Using orthodontic appliances, we can control where your child’s adult teeth erupt by altering the size and growth of the bones in their jaw. Fixing issues such as crossbites, mouth breathing or tongue-ties will ensure proper growth of the facial structure and minimize the chance for unesthetic results such as asymmetries. That’s why it’s important to evaluate their growing smile early so proper treatment can be implemented and timed for the best success.

Some signs that might indicate that your child could need orthodontic intervention include late or early tooth loss, having misplaced or crowded teeth, non-nutritive habits such as thumb sucking, snoring at night, mouth breathing during the day, or having issues when biting and chewing.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention

  • Guide development of their adult teeth, which are still underneath the gum tissue.
  • Fix bad habits like thumbsucking or tongue thrusting that can lead to developmental problems.
  • Guide Skeletal jaw growth in instances of deficient lower jaw growth and crossbites.
  • Lower the potential risk of trauma and fracture to front teeth that are protruding.
  • Improve how your child’s teeth, lips and face look (potentially increasing their self-esteem and decreasing the chances of bullying).
  • Help prevent future invasive dental treatments down the road, such as cavities from tough areas to clean.

Does Your Child’s Growing Smile Require Orthodontics?

Our orthodontist can assess your child’s growth pattern to see if early treatment is recommended. What to look for:

  • Crowding
  • Spacing
  • Open bites
  • Deep bites
  • Crossbites
  • Missing teeth
  • Teeth that don’t erupt in the right order
  • Overjets (where excessive protrusion of the upper jaw causes a horizontal overlap of the front teeth)
  • Ankylosed teeth (where a tooth’s roots fuse to the underlying bone, so it doesn’t erupt properly)

Our Orthodontic Team Is Here for Your Child’s Smile

Early orthodontic treatment can help prevent bad habits like poor oral hygiene as you have to clean your teeth more often and more carefully. Establishing good brushing and flossing habits in childhood help avoid dental problems later in life. Orthodontics can also help improve breathing and jaw movement, prevent jaw pain, teeth grinding, and prevent breathing problems. Because the jawbone is not fully developed yet, orthodontics at a young age helps make treatment easier, quicker, and more effective while offering more treatment options.

Give your child the head start for the new school year and boost their self-confidence at the same time! Please give our team a call if you have questions about your child wearing braces. You do not need a referral to see your orthodontist!