If you’re a parent noticing that your child’s permanent teeth aren’t as straight as they could be, you’re likely wondering when it’s time to work with an orthodontist to talk about kids braces. There are many factors that determine whether your child is old enough for braces, and your orthodontist will work with you to help you understand when it’s the right time for your child to begin the teeth straightening process.
Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know when figuring out whether it’s time for your child to get braces, including the best age to get started with braces, how to determine whether a child needs braces, what your child should do to prepare for getting braces, the proper care for braces, best practices, and what you’ll need to know about the cost and financing of your kids’ braces.
Now, let’s dig into everything you’ll need to know before, during, and after orthodontic treatment for your child.
Kids Braces Treatment Journey: From Pre-Procedure to
When you realize that your child might need braces, it can be tough to figure out what to do next. Here, we’ll take a look at the standard orthodontic treatment journey for a child who needs corrective treatment with braces.
The first step toward getting orthodontic treatment for your child is to schedule an evaluation with your orthodontist. It’s smart to get your child’s first orthodontic evaluation by the time they’re seven years old.
While this may seem early, this gives you and your child a chance to get to know your orthodontist and discuss treatment options as your child’s permanent teeth continue to come in.
By age seven, your child’s bite has fully developed, and your orthodontist will be able to get a sense of future issues. It’s unlikely that your child’s orthodontist will want to start treatment right away.
Rather, watching how your child’s permanent teeth come in can give your orthodontist a sense of the treatment that your child will need. This can help you and your family prepare for the cost of orthodontic treatment.
When Can My Child Get Kids Braces?
It’s likely that your orthodontist will want to wait to begin treatment until most of your child’s permanent teeth are fully grown in. For most kids, this occurs between the ages of 8 and 14. If your child is not at the point where they’re ready for braces, your orthodontist may choose to provide interceptive care, which uses dental appliances to prepare the mouth for braces.
Preparing Your Child For Braces
You’ll want to talk with your orthodontist to understand more about what it will be like for your child to get their braces. Your child may need to get spacers on their teeth prior to getting their braces.
Spacers are small rings that create space for the anchors that go around the back teeth to keep their braces in place.
Encourage your child to ask questions, and reassure them that the process of getting braces will not be painful.
Let your child know that the slight discomfort they may feel in the days after getting their braces fitted will be similar to having a sore muscle after a tough sports practice, and let them know that you’ll have over the counter pain relievers and soft foods on hand in the event that they’re uncomfortable.
An orthodontist will explain every step of your kid’s braces fitting during the process. While getting braces put on can take some time, it’s not painful.
During the procedure, your orthodontist or their assistant will glue small brackets to your child’s teeth. A wire will connect the brackets, and small rubber bands will loop over the brackets to keep the wires in place (your child can choose the color of their rubber bands).
The wire will be connected to the anchors on your child’s back teeth.
Your orthodontist will also talk with you and your child about the steps that need to be taken to keep their teeth clean. They may recommend using an electric toothbrush, as well as floss threaders to ensure that the spaces between the teeth are clean.
The orthodontist will also give your child a small brush that allows them to clean the areas around the brackets. It’s important that your child keep these areas especially clean, as decay around the brackets can result in staining and other issues that are visible when the brackets are eventually removed.
Your child will return to the orthodontics practice regularly to have their braces adjusted. After having braces fitted and after each adjustment, your child may experience some discomfort. It’s important to keep soft foods, over-the-counter pain relievers, and dental wax on hand to help your child feel comfortable as they get used to each adjustment.
When your child is dealing with the soreness that comes with each adjustment, it may be helpful to remind them that a small amount of discomfort now will result in a permanent healthy smile.
When your child is completely done with their course of treatment, they’ll get a retainer to wear to maintain their new smile.
Pros and Cons of Dental Braces for Kids
If you’re thinking that braces might be the right choice for your child, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of orthodontic treatment. Here, we’ll take a look at the ups and downs that can come with getting braces.
Pros of Braces
- Braces create a lifelong healthy smile
- Kids are unable to lose braces (unlike aligners and other removable treatment options)
- Regular monitoring from the orthodontist ensures that treatment is progressing correctly
- Very little discomfort involved
Cons of Braces
- Treatment is visible to others (typically a larger issue for kids who get treatment earlier or later than peers)
- Must return to orthodontist regularly for adjustments
- Parents may need to help young children care for their teeth with braces
It’s normal to have questions about whether braces are the right fit for your child’s needs. Keep track of your questions and go over them with your orthodontist to help you work together to determine the most appropriate form of treatment for your child.
Kids Braces Cost and Financing Options
It’s important to consider the cost of dentistry and orthodontic treatment before moving forward with braces. Costs vary widely. Typically, traditional metal braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000 over the course of treatment.
There are several factors that will determine how much your child’s braces will cost, including the type of braces you and your orthodontist choose, how long your child needs to wear their braces, and whether additional dental or orthodontic issues arise during the course of treatment.
Most orthodontists offer financing options to help families afford the cost of braces. Your orthodontist may also offer a paid-in-full discount if you pay for the expected cost of treatment before your child is fitted for their braces.
If your child needs braces but you’re not sure how to afford treatment, be sure to talk with your orthodontist about your options.
To learn more about the cost and care for dental braces, visit our complete guide dental care and cost.
Is Your Child Ready For Braces?
Braces are an effective way to help your child get and maintain a healthy smile for life. We’re here to work with you and decide whether braces are the right fit for your child, and to help you understand at what age orthodontic treatment makes the most sense.
If you think it’s time for your child to get dental braces, set up a consultation, make an appointment online, or walk in to talk about orthodontic treatment options for your child. We’re looking forward to getting to know you and your child.
FAQs about Kids Dental Braces
Is there a correct braces age for kids to get started with orthodontic treatment?
All kids differ, but typically, kids get braces between the ages of 8 and 14. It’s smart to take your child to the orthodontist for a consultation by age 7 to begin a discussion of when your child’s treatment should begin.
Do braces hurt?
Nope! Some kids may notice some discomfort after having braces fitted and after having wires tightened, but braces are generally painless.
Do most kids need braces?
Approximately 75% of kids would benefit from having braces, but just 25% to 50% of kids get the orthodontic treatment they need for a healthy smile.
How long do most kids need braces?
Most kids need braces for 18 to 36 months.
How much do braces usually cost?
The cost of braces depends greatly on the region in which you live, as well as how long your child needs treatment. In most cases, the total cost of braces falls between $3,000 and $7,000.
How do I know my kid is ready to get braces?
Talk with your orthodontist about whether your child has hit an age where they’re ready to begin orthodontic treatment.
Ready To Get Your Child The Smile Of Their Lifetime?
Now that you have been informed about what are kids braces, what is the best age for kids braces, and more about how braces work and the whole process of their journey through years of having braces.