As parents, it’s up to us to keep our kids happy and healthy. One question you may be asking yourself is, “How do I know if my child needs braces?” Braces are a topic that can be intimidating for most parents, so to help you feel more at ease, we’ve decided to address some major questions surrounding braces.

At Gentle Care Dentists in Arlington, we specialize in a variety of orthodontic treatments, including braces and retainers. If you still have questions about braces after reading this article or you’d like to schedule an appointment to bring your child in for a dental checkup, contact us today!

How To Tell If Your Child Needs Braces

Unless you’re an orthodontist or dentist, there’s a good chance you won’t know if and when your child will need braces. There are some specific signs, however, that you can look out for including crooked or overlapping teeth, an overcrowded mouth, or a crooked bite. If your child suffers from any of the signs below, it may be time to contact an orthodontic expert.

  • Your child has difficulty chewing or biting.
  • Your son or daughter experiences early loss of baby teeth or late loss of baby teeth.
  • They breath through their mouth frequently.
  • Your child sucks his or her thumb or finger.
  • You notice crowding or blocked out teeth in your child’s mouth.
  • Your son or daughter’s jaw makes sounds when shifting or opening.
  • Your child bites the inside of his or her cheeks frequently.
  • Their teeth do not meet when they bite down.
  • Their jaw or teeth are out of proportion with the rest of their face.

What Types Of Braces Are Available?

With the variety of braces available on the market today, you may feel intimidated when it comes time to decide what kind of braces your child should have. When you visit the dental team at Gentle Care Dentists, we’ll discuss the various options available before recommending the best solution for your child. Let’s take a look at some common braces that are available for children below:

Metal Braces

Also known as traditional braces, metal braces are constructed from high-quality steel or titanium and are often a silver or gold color. There are three main components of metal braces, which we’ll cover below.

  • Brackets – The brackets in metal braces are attached to the teeth using a special glue. The brackets are bonded to the tooth surface, which is what holds them in place.
  • Archwire – The archwire is a thin metal wire that connects each bracket. This is what puts pressure on your teeth to help guide them into place.
  • Ligature Elastic – Also known as the rubber bands, ligature elastics are the colored ties that hold the archwires to the brackets. Oftentimes, your orthodontist will change the elastics at each of your dental appointments.

While metal braces in the past were very noticeable and annoying to those who wore them, today’s braces are much smaller and less noticeable.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces have become a very popular dental option over the past several years. Composed of composite materials, these braces are available in varying levels of transparency. This means that you can have ceramic braces that take on the natural color of your teeth. Most adults prefer ceramic braces because they blend in with the color of their teeth, and they are cosmetically less noticeable than metal.

Invisalign

One of the most common and effective system of braces is Invisalign®. As a virtually invisible way to straighten your child’s teeth, Invisalign utilizes advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology to create a completely customized treatment plan for your child’s teeth. The Invisalign system depicts your complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your child’s teeth to the final desired position. Your orthodontist will provide you with a series of clear aligners that are custom-made to fit your child’s teeth. Each aligner is to be worn for roughly two week before being replaced by the next series.

If you’re looking for a friendly and professional dental staff in Arlington, contact Gentle Care Dentists today. We specialize in a variety of family and cosmetic dental procedures, including orthodontic treatments like braces, retainers, and night guards. Check out our testimonials online or contact us today for an appointment!