As your child’s adult teeth begin to make an appearance, you may notice the development of common dental issues, like crooked or crowded teeth. These issues can cause long-term problems in adulthood. Early orthodontic treatment can help prevent these complications. At Lansdowne Orthodontics in Leesburg, VA and South Riding, Virginia, Dr. Hukmani’s goal is to improve the health and lives of children by providing the appropriate orthodontic care. Schedule a complimentary consultation appointment by calling the office today.
Children’s Orthodontics Q & A
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on the correction and prevention of teeth and jaw bone irregularities. Also, it addresses alignment issues with children’s teeth, an improvement in their bite, and optimal functioning of their jaw bones.
At Lansdowne Orthodontics, Dr. Hukmani offers orthodontic evaluations for children, starting at age seven. Your child may need orthodontic services to correct common dental issues, such as:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Missing teeth
- Narrow upper and lower jaws
- Jaw size discrepancies
Dr. Hukmani’s goals for your child’s orthodontic treatment is an improvement in the alignment of the teeth, an improvement in how the teeth function, and an improvement in the facial balance and smile for children with jaw size discrepancies.
What age can children get braces?
The ideal age for most children to get braces and other orthodontic services is 7-14. At this age, correcting misaligned teeth and growth modifications of the facial structure can prevent additional medical issues that develop as your child grows.
What types of braces are available for kids?
Dr. Hukmani offers several types of braces, including:
- Traditional braces: Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
- Clear Braces: Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, older teens and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns often prefer ceramic braces. Since ceramic braces are visually less prominent, they tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. However, it is a patient’s preference whether upper and/or lower ceramic braces are placed. Both younger and older patients who are in the performing arts, engage in public speaking, or high visibility positions, prefer the ceramic braces.
- Self-Ligating Braces: Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastics, meaning fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth. Self-ligating braces come with traditional metal, ceramic, or clear brackets. They are the same size as metal braces, but use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide teeth into place. The clip helps reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth and requires fewer adjustments because there are no elastics to replace.
- Invisalign®: An alternative to Traditional or Clear braces that uses clear plastic aligners to gradually reposition the teeth. If you are interested in Invisalign for your teen, Dr. Hukmani can review if your teen’s orthodontic treatment needs may be corrected with clear aligner treatment.
Dr. Hukmani evaluates your child’s teeth during a comprehensive exam to determine which type of braces will work best to treat their existing issues.
How long will my child need to wear braces?
Every child’s dental needs are different and Dr. Hukmani creates a customized care plan to achieve the desired results.
In many cases, children wear braces for a year or longer to correct misaligned teeth. Following the removal of their braces, they may also need to wear a retainer for several years — either full time or while they sleep — to prevent teeth from relapse or shifting.
Is it difficult for kids to take care of braces?
It is important that your children brush their teeth carefully after each meal and snack, using a soft bristle toothbrush. Dr. Hukmani and our team will show your child how to clean around the braces to remove food debris that can lead to cavities. Children should avoid eating sticky or hard foods that can stick to or damage braces.
Regular appointments for dental examination and routine cleanings with your child’s dentist are an important part of overall dental care. Dr. Hukmani schedules follow-up appointments to monitor the condition of their braces and the progress of their teeth movement.