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Benefits of Braces

May 15, 2017

As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Maggie sees a lot of kids that would benefit from orthodontic treatment. Braces are an extremely common recommendation for children both young and entering adolescence. It is common knowledge that braces can help to straighten your child’s smile, but what you may not know is that braces can be a great tool in improving the overall oral health of your child. If braces have been recommended in your family, here are a few more benefits you may not be aware of.

Determining a Need for Braces

Determining a need for dental braces can be simple or complex depending on each child. Most often braces are recommended when a child is 12 or older after all or most of their permanent teeth have come in. If your preteen or teenager has an underbite, overbite, crossbite, open bite, over crowding or spacing your Palm Harbor pediatric dentist may recommend braces as an orthodontic treatment. However, it may be recommended for younger children if the use of braces can help to shape their jaw and prevent severe orthodontic work when they are older. This is called interceptive orthodontics. Braces can be used to maintain space in between teeth when a primary tooth, also known as a baby tooth, falls out long before a permanent tooth is due to emerge. This can ensure that there is ample space for the new tooth and crowding will likely not be an issue. Other reasons why children as young as six or seven my be recommended orthodontic treatments is due to abnormal jaw development or tooth position that may compromise their function and integrity. Dr. Maggie may see that the jaw is not developing normally and remedy this with braces before many of the permanent teeth emerge. Similarly if permanent teeth are emerging quickly and crooked, she may see braces as an option to help guide the teeth and ultimately reduce the amount of orthodontic work that will be necessary as your child grows into a teenager.

Benefits of Braces

Braces do much more than just create a flash-worthy smile, they provide serious dental health benefits as well. Braces are designed to move and straighten teeth, and achieve this end in many different ways. As the teeth shift into their desired spots you can expect some changes to your oral health routine. Braces are notorious for trapping food particles between brackets and behind archwires. This can result in the buildup of bacteria, erosion of enamel, and inflammation of the gums. Removing this food after every meal is of the utmost importance. Taking care of your teeth during this time is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your oral health, and as a happy side effect this consistent care can carry over to life after braces. It often seems like if you can maintain your oral health while you have braces, you can maintain your oral health for your entire life. We work hard to convey this point to our young patients. The light at the end of the tunnel is that after braces not only will your child have the tools to prevent tooth decay and gum inflammation, but their teeth will also be much easier to clean and take care of.

The most rejoiced benefit of braces is that it shifts our teeth into a handsome line. When the teeth are aligned this way it is much easier to brush the surfaces of each tooth and to floss in between. Also, braces can alleviate crowding which exposes the gums and enables you to clean them better as well. By shifting your teeth into the most desirable positions you not only achieve a spectacular smile, but also a one that’s easier to take care of!

Many teens desire a straight smile for their senior pictures, and sometimes cosmetic reasons drive the decision to choose braces. We don’t think that’s a problem at all. Straight teeth make it easier for children to chew and speak. However the best benefit braces provide is the tools and understanding it takes to be responsible for something as important as your smile. If you have any questions about how you can support your child while they are undergoing orthodontic treatment, ask your Palm Harbor pediatric dentist at your next appointment.