(773) 281-9800

You take your child in for their normal dentist visit. Upon inspecting their teeth, the dentist tells you that the child will need braces soon. You immediately start formulating questions in your head.

How are you going to afford braces, which ones will be the best for them to wear, and how do they care for their braces once they get them? These are all things that you want to know before their first orthodontist visit. To help you answer all of these burning questions here is everything that you need to know about braces for kids according to a Chicago Pediatric dentist.

1. Why Your Child May Need Braces

There are several reasons why your child may need braces but it boils down to having an under or overbite. This can be caused by little habits they’ve picked up like sucking their thumb. It can also be caused if they pull their baby teeth too soon to get money out of the tooth fairy.

Teeth problems that cause the need for braces is also genetic so if someone in your family had to wear braces when they were little it’s very likely that your kid will as well.

2. The First Orthodontist Visit

It’s best to schedule your child’s first orthodontist visit early. The best time is around age 7 when their permanent teeth start to show themselves. Taking them this early may not result in your child getting braces, but the orthodontist will at least be able to tell you if they are going to need them in the future.

During their first visit the orthodontist will examine your child’s mouth in a number of ways. They may first take an Xray of their mouth that way they can see if they still have any permanent teeth that need to come in and if they do, be able to hazard a guess at how they are going to come in. They may also make a mold of their mouth to help them decide what the best braces for them would be when they do start wearing them.

Finally, the orthodontist will also ask them a series of questions like if their jaw pops when they bite down for example.

3. Types of Braces

As far as braces go, there are a few types that you can choose from. The orthodontist will work with you to decide which ones are best for your child. Here are a few of your basic options.

Traditional Metal

Traditional metal is the option that most parents go with. They have steel ties that hold the wires that go through the brackets in place so they can do their job.

Damon Braces

Damon braces act sort of similar to traditional braces. The difference is that the brackets hold the wires in place instead of the other way around.

Clear Braces

Again, these are similar to traditional braces but they aren’t made of metal. They’re ceramic and appear clear hence the name. The wires are still visible but from a distance, it’s hard to tell that they are even there.

Invisible Aligners

Invisible aligners look sort of like a mouthguard. They are see through and will fit right over your child’s teeth. Your child will go through multiple sets during the duration of their teeth straightening process.

4. How to Care for Them

You have to make sure that your child brushes and flosses daily. This is because it’s so easy for food to get stuck in braces that are made of wires. Their orthodontist will give them something specially designed for flossing around braces.

There are certain foods that they will have to avoid these include hard candy and popcorn. Every once in a while you’ll have to take them in to have their braces tightened this won’t exactly feel comfortable. You can combat this pain with over the counter pain killers and by feeding them soft foods until the pain has subsided.

If your child ever gets a loose wire then make sure to take them to the orthodontist right away to have the problem fixed. If the orthodontist does spot a loose wire the problem may just be little sharp parts of the braces. You can buy orthodontal wax to resolve the issue.

5. Affording Them

Braces aren’t exactly cheap so you may be concerned about affording them. The good news is that just like the braces themselves, there are several options available to you.

Smiles Change Lives

Smiles Change Lives is a program that is found in all 50 states of the US that help parents afford braces as long as their child is between the ages of 10 and 18. If you apply and are accepted, you’ll only have to pay about 600 or so out of pocket for your kid’s braces. It’s quite the discount considering most braces will cost you thousands of dollars.

Dental Schools

Graduates who want to specialize in orthodontics have to continue their education in a dental school. You can make an appointment at one of these schools to take your child to get their braces. While the treatment may take longer, you’ll be offered a reduced rate.

Your Dentist

There are some general dentists that know how to do braces. These dentists are usually willing to work with families on the cost. Even if your family dentist can’t give your child the braces, they will most likely be able to hand you a list of orthodontists that would be willing to work with you.

Insurance Programs

Insurance companies such as Medicaid may pay for your child’s braces as long as the state of their teeth is interfering with their daily life. It may be hard for you to make your case though and even harder to find a dentist that will take your insurance.

Everything You Need to Know About Braces for Kids

When you’re told that your child needs braces a million questions probably float through your head like how you’ll afford it, or what kind would be best for your child. We hope that these answers from a Chicago Pediatric dentist about braces for kids have helped you in this dental process.

Is your child ready for their first Pediatric dentist visit? Contact us to make an appointment.