Many parents begin asking when their children will need braces when their child is still very young. While anyone can benefit from braces at nearly any time in their life, most individuals start braces at about 12 or 13 years old, with the opportunity to start earlier if needed. The timing in these years is beneficial because the head and mouth are still growing, which makes the process more conducive to shifting teeth.
How Long Do Kids Wear Braces?
The placement of braces depends on what the orthodontist is trying to correct, and there are several types of braces and treatment plans to consider. Many individuals wear braces for 18-30 months and braces are adjusted every 4-8 weeks to shift the teeth into proper alignment. After braces, retainers are worn for a few months and up to two years. Some individuals choose to utilize a permanent retainer to prevent shifting.
Will Braces Hurt?
Each time your child visits the orthodontist, you can expect the interconnecting wire to be tightened. This causes a mild pressure on the brackets to shift teeth or jaws gradually into alignment. As a result, your child’s mouth may feel slightly sore after each visit, but discomfort is brief. In some cases, teeth need to be extracted to make room for teeth being shifted or for proper jaw alignment.
Who Will Assist with Orthodontic Treatment?
Often a pediatric or general dentist will refer your child to an orthodontist who will work with you to develop a treatment plan and manage the orthodontic process. An orthodontist will examine your child’s jaw, teeth spacing, and bite to determine what kind of braces they will need and how long they will wear for them. In addition, an orthodontic assistant will often be the one who changes elastics. The assistant will work in tandem with your orthodontist to ensure treatment is always on track.
If you are curious if your child is ready for braces, request an appointment below and our caring teams will be happy to assist you.