Many children suffer from misaligned teeth. Nevertheless, most alignment issues can be corrected using the right orthodontic treatment.
There are multiple orthodontic applications that are suitable for children, but some may or may not be appropriate based on the age of the child. Here are several orthodontic appliances and when they may be recommended.
Many orthodontists suggest that a child be fitted with braces once most of their permanent teeth have presented. Traditional braces may be prescribed for any age group. As soon as an orthodontic correction is approved, regardless of the age of the patient, these braces may be installed.
Traditional braces are made of metal and include an archwire, brackets, and elastic bands. The bands are used to connect the archwire to the brackets. The orthodontist makes regular adjustments to the archwire to move the teeth into a straight alignment.
If braces are used to straighten your child's teeth, the treatment may require several years to reposition the teeth properly. Still, even the worst misalignment can often be corrected with traditional braces.
Lingual braces have the same basic components as traditional braces. However, their placement on the teeth is different. The brackets of lingual braces are not placed on the front side of the teeth. Instead, the brackets are placed on the side of the teeth that is nearest to the tongue. As a result, the braces remain hidden from view throughout the orthodontic treatment.
Lingual braces can be applied as early as traditional braces, and they can correct the same types of misalignment. Additionally, their application offers several advantages, including discretion and safety. If your child plays contact sports and wears lingual braces, they are less likely to suffer an injury from the brackets or wires of the braces snagging their inner lips or cheeks due to an inadvertent blow to the mouth.
Clear Plastic Aligners
Many children like the idea of having their misalignment treated with clear aligners. The devices are transparent and removable, so they offer a discreet treatment option. Additionally, the treatment with the aligners may be complete within a year or less.
Still, the clear aligners are only suitable for teens and adults because in order for the treatment to be effective, the palate of the patient must have completed its growth process. Also, the misalignment of the teeth must be minor to moderate. Severe misalignments should be treated using other orthodontic appliances.
If your child suffers from crooked teeth, schedule an appointment with a children's orthodontist in your local area.