Braces for Kids

Starting Your Child on Orthodontic Treatment

When you want to achieve a lifetime of beautiful smiles, it’s better to start early. We are proud to treat patients of all ages and set them up for oral health success. If you think your child may benefit from braces, our team is excited to guide you through every step of the journey. Kids often have great success in braces because their mouths are still forming and easier to adjust. Braces are a time-tested tool engineered to tackle orthodontic issues big and small. When you catch and correct problems early on in the mouth’s formation, you can prevent them from becoming more significant issues down the road.

When Should I Consider Taking My Child to See an Orthodontist?

The first permanent molars and incisors usually grow in at around seven years old. This is when an orthodontist will see early signs of overcrowding, misalignment, and more. When we catch these problems early on, we can better prepare for future treatment or make an informed decision to start treatment right away. We want to help your child achieve the best oral health and aesthetics possible, and Dr. Laster has the education and experience to make the best choice for their future smile. We will never push your child to start treatment, but it’s better to start observation when they’re young. If you notice signs of overcrowding or other issues, we encourage you to reach out to our office directly, and we can see you without a dentist referral.

How Can an Orthodontist Help My Child?

There is a common misconception that orthodontics is purely about making smiles prettier. While it’s our experience that a beautiful smile fills children with confidence and boosts their self-esteem, there are also health benefits to receiving corrective treatment. Misaligned jaws, overcrowded teeth, crooked teeth, and more can lead to jaw pain when chewing, biting, and speaking. It’s also more challenging to clean your teeth if they’re overlapping or in the wrong position. It’s essential that we correct their position, so your child doesn’t experience problems such as tooth decay, cavities, and more. Orthodontics works in partnership with general dentistry to help your child achieve the best oral health and aesthetics possible.

Early Intervention Techniques to Give Your Children Their Best Smiles

Dr. Laster has been successfully treating children’s smiles for years and is well-informed about the latest and greatest early intervention techniques for your child. One of the most common techniques is implementing two-phase treatment. Two-phase treatment is a specialized process that involves straightening their teeth while making physical, facial changes. We will use this corrective treatment if we believe changes in the bite and arches will be most beneficial during the growing years. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is that your child can achieve a healthy, functional, aesthetic smile that will remain stable throughout their life.

What Happens Without Early Treatment?

Early treatment is recommended for young children who have irregular dental arches or limited space for permanent teeth to grow in. Early treatment decreases the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduces the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, corrects thumb-sucking, and eliminates abnormal swallowing or speech problems.

What to Expect When Your Child Starts?

When your child first gets their braces on, they may experience slight discomfort as they get used to the appliance in their mouth and the feeling of their teeth shifting. This sensation is very temporary, and children typically adjust to their appliance quicker than adults. If they do feel uncomfortable, we suggest they take over-the-counter pain medicine or apply braces wax to the areas of the appliance that bother their soft tissue. While a little discomfort is normal, we encourage you to contact our office if the feeling continues for a prolonged period.

Treatment Options

The perfect treatment should fit into your child’s lifestyle and help them obtain a smile they’re proud to see in the mirror. Metal braces have been an orthodontic staple for years because of their efficiency and beautiful results. This appliance has been refined to be sleeker and more effective than ever, and your child may benefit from the durability of these braces. If your child is older and wants a more discreet treatment option, clear ceramic braces are a great way to achieve the same great results as metal braces with a more natural look. The ceramic brackets are less durable than the steel version, so your child will have to be more careful, so they don’t break their brackets and prolong the treatment. We also offer self-ligating braces for our patients who want to spend less time in the office chair and more time at their school desk. While they will still need to come in for the occasional adjustment, you’ll spend less time in the office than with other braces options.