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Does Your Child Really Need Braces?

Posted on: February 15, 2019

Young girl smiling and wearing braces

We typically get our braces put on during our teenage to adult years, but how do you know whether your young child should have braces or not? Child orthodontics is a common practice for those children struggling with crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth, or a misaligned jaw. There are many advantages for children as they receive braces earlier on in life as it can prevent future orthodontic treatment and guide incoming teeth into the proper position. Learn how to recognize whether your child needs braces through these tips!


When To Start

Young kids go through a lot of physical changes during adolescence, and some of those changes include jaw and teeth development. Orthodontics has become more and more common in young children to adjust certain orthodontic issues that occasionally occur as a child develops. Traditionally, orthodontic treatment begins once a child has lost most of their baby (primary) teeth and a majority of their permanent teeth have grown in, which typically occurs between the ages of 8 and 14. Even though braces is recommended at this age, it is a good idea to get an orthodontic evaluation for your child by the time they turn 7 years old; at this age, an orthodontist is able to detect early symptoms of orthodontic problems, such as an underbite or crossbite, which can cause severe complications and more treatment later on if left untreated at an early age. Bones are still growing during this age, so it is an ideal time to meet with an orthodontist to monitor bone and jaw development while evaluating any apparent orthodontic issues.


Advantages of Child Orthodontics

Although child orthodontics is only necessary if there are physical developmental issues within the mouth, receiving orthodontic treatment as a child has certain advantages. Visiting an orthodontist at an early age allows for observation of incoming teeth and reduces the risk of impacted teeth as your child loses their baby teeth and their permanent teeth take their place. As the orthodontist monitors your child’s teeth, they can help guide their teeth into the correct position as soon as they begin erupting, usually through braces or other orthodontic devices that help move teeth into the correct positions. Regular orthodontic visits also decrease the risk of hidden dental issues and permanent tooth extractions, as it allows for the orthodontist to adjust the jaw so that teeth crowding doesn’t occur.


Child orthodontics doesn’t always imply braces. Since a child’s jaw and teeth are still growing, many orthodontic issues, such as crowding, can be addressed before complications occur later on during adolescence. In this case, orthodontic treatment in young children is known as interceptive orthodontics. Many times, a child’s dental arch may be too small to fit all of their teeth. Just a few decades ago, it was a common practice to simply remove some permanent teeth to make space in the mouth. Now, though, child orthodontics can avoid this through the use of a palatal expander that expands the child’s upper dental arch, which allows adult teeth to emerge in a better position. Interceptive orthodontics can speed up the process of aligning teeth into the proper position and cause future treatment to be shorter and less involved.


How Much Does It CostTransparent dental orthodontic aligner

If braces are fit too early on a child, treatment can take longer and be more expensive. For this reason, it’s important to have regular orthodontic visits to monitor tooth and jaw development to ensure that whenever your child receives braces, it’s at the correct time. The braces that your orthodontist recommends will depend on your child’s type of problem that he or she has. There are three types of braces that most children will receive, and they each have different advantages and disadvantages:


  • Traditional metal braces – Have steel ties holding the wires between the brackets in place. Cost is driven by what your orthodontist will charge for treatment, including multiple office visits.
  • Damon braces – Do not have steel ties, but the brackets themselves hold the wires in place. Typically more expensive and can cost up to $8,000, but you pay for less dental appointments since the braces are self-ligating.
  • Invisalign (or other clear or removable aligners) – Fit over the child’s teeth similar to a mouthguard. Your child will receive a number of aligners during the duration of their treatment, so cost is determined by the amount of aligners needed to achieve correction.


Just like adult orthodontics, child orthodontics can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $8,000, depending on what level of correction your child needs. If your child needs to have teeth extracted or be fitted for other appliances, the cost will most likely go up, as well. The way your child complies to orthodontic treatment will also affect the cost. Make sure that they are brushing and flossing everyday so as to avoid tooth decay, which will increase the cost of treatment as your dentist will have to treat around the braces to fix the decay.


Is It Necessary?

As mentioned before, whether your child needs braces or not at an earlier age is dependent upon their mouth structure and how their teeth form. For more information about child orthodontics or if you’re interested in scheduling a consultation, contact Belmar Orthodontics at (303) 225-9016!. Our experienced and highly trained orthodontic staff offers a variety of orthodontic treatments and technology so that you can be confident your children are receiving the best care available.


Fun Facts About Your Teeth

Posted on: May 12, 2017


Baby Teeth

Why are teeth, even baby teeth, so important? And why do we need all of them? Each tooth has an essential function in the mouth and is designed to give you the maximum amount of power to chew, talk and be healthy. The teeth are made up of incisors, canines, premolars and molars all shaped for different functions. We each get two sets of teeth during our lives—baby teeth and adult teeth. Without our teeth, we would have problems with digestion, speech, facial shape, appearance and overall health and wellness. The teeth are vital in the first steps of digestion.  Problems with the teeth (such as gum disease) can lead to conditions that affect the health of your mouth and whole body. Taking care of your teeth is more important than you realize. Even having straight teeth can do more for you than you know. At Belmar Orthodontics, let us teach you more about your teeth, the importance of straight teeth and all that they do for you!


Why Are Baby Teeth So Important?

Every single tooth in the mouth is important when it comes to eating, chewing, speaking, digestion, facial shape, appearance and overall health. That even includes the baby teeth even though they are teeth that will eventually fall out. Baby teeth aid in normal development of the jaw when we’re young. This leads to normal development of the jaw through adolescence and adulthood. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between 7 and 8 years of age. This is a time when orthodontic issues may be present (such as over, under or cross bite) and a time when those problems can easily be corrected.

Baby teeth help maintain space for the permanent teeth that will grow in. They also contribute to speech development (especially the ‘S’ sound) and overall self-esteem.  After childhood orthodontics, your child will then receive orthodontic care as an adolescent with a focus on bringing the teeth into proper alignment. Properly aligning the teeth during the adolescent years will ensure:

  1. There is space for all of the 32 adult teeth in the mouth.
  2. Those teeth are straightened before the jaw hardens and stops growing and before orthodontic care is much harder to perform (this is usually between ages 13-15 for girls and 16-18 for boys).
  3. Higher self-esteem and self confidence in home and academic life, which can lead to more confidence and opportunities as an adult.


The Teeth In the Mouth

An adult mouth will typically consist of 32 teeth. There are around 20 baby teeth (10 upper and 10 lower) that will fall out and 32 adult teeth will grow in their place (including the wisdom teeth). Not all people have wisdom teeth and most will have them removed, bringing the final number of adult teeth to around 28 per person. The adult teeth are made up of 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars and 12 molars (minus 4 if the wisdom teeth are gone). Baby teeth tend to look very similar to one another, but all the adult teeth look different because they have different functions. Some are pointy, some are narrow, and some are large to aid in chewing, eating and speech. The teeth are the first step in the digestive process, as food comes in through the mouth and is chewed before it continues through your body. Having a full set of healthy teeth will aid you in all your chewing and eating needs.  Straight teeth make any action involving the teeth that much easier.


The Importance of Straight Adult Teeth

How important are straight teeth in adults? VERY! About ¼ of all patients in the United States with braces consist of adults, and that number is on the rise. Studies have shown that straighter teeth lead to more overall confidence and that confidence can boost a person’s chance of receiving a job over than someone with crooked teeth. In a study by Invisalign (a transparent aligner brand that we offer), they found shocking results when they polled around 1000 random participants on the streets about the appearance of people in different photos. The people that had straighter teeth automatically were perceived as more confident, attractive, successful and even more trustworthy than those without straight teeth. 80% who received orthodontic care as adults said it was one of the most important things they had done. In articles by the New York Times, their studies showed that many families went without basic necessities in order to afford orthodontic care because of how integral it was to success in academic, home and professional life for their kids and themselves. Now how important do you think straight teeth are?


Keeping the Teeth Straight

Lucky for you, we offer many options for children and adults when it comes to keeping your pearly whites straight for life! Traditional braces are one of our most popular options–especially with adolescents. We also have clear ceramic braces that offer all the benefits of traditional braces, while being more discreet and blended to the color of your natural teeth. We also provide lingual braces that are adhered to the inside (tongue side) of your teeth, giving you discreet straightening power. Invisalign is another one of our popular options consisting of transparent removable aligners that allow you to invisibly straighten your teeth while providing the freedom to remove the aligners when you need to.

To learn more about why teeth—especially straight teeth—are important or to schedule your braces consultation, contact our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016!