Braces for Children
Conservative approaches are the best for children, but sometimes braces are necessary. Braces for Children are used when a child’s teeth are in what is called an “anterior crossbite”. When one or more of the upper front teeth grow into the mouth behind the lower teeth, this is an anterior crossbite. Uncorrected anterior crossbites often lead to damage of the gum and bone of the jaw around the tooth in crossbite, as well as excessive tooth wear of the tooth in crossbite. If an anterior crossbite is corrected with braces at a young age, trauma to the incisor teeth in crossbite can be prevented. The gums and bone supporting these teeth as well as the teeth themselves can be kept their healthiest.
Braces used to correct anterior crossbite in your child will not look the same as the full set of braces most adolescent children receive. Anterior crossbites are best corrected shortly after the permanent incisors erupt and before many of the other permanent teeth erupt. Because your orthodontist will generally try to avoid putting braces and primary (baby) teeth, your child will get braces in what is referred to as a two-by-four pattern. Two brackets will go on the 6-year molars and four brackets will go on the front four incisor teeth of the top teeth only. This treatment is a much quicker process than a full set of braces, with your orthodontist’s goal of being completed in less than 12 months. Having braces in children for too long often leads to burnout in oral hygiene routines and scarring of enamel due to plaque accumulation. To minimize the risk of damage to teeth during Orthodontic treatment, we highly recommend children continue to see there dentist for regular cleanings and fluoride treatments.
When braces are used in young children, our orthodontists do so to correct an urgent developing problem. Once your child’s teeth are out of crossbite, they will be given a retainer to prevent relapse of the incisor teeth to wear until the rest of their permanent teeth erupt. Once all their permanent teeth have erupted, you may wish to undergo the full set of braces to get a Hollywood smile and a healthy bite.