Why Your Child May Need Braces

While not every child will need to have braces, the chances that your son or daughter will need them increases if you had braces as a youngster. One of the problems with their teeth and jaw that children inherit from their parents is malocclusion, which is a difference in size between the upper and lower jaw. This is more commonly referred to as an over- or underbite. Other causes for needing braces include:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Tooth decay
  • Baby teeth that came out too soon.
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Crowded teeth

At What Age are Braces Needed?

While your child may visit an orthodontist for treatments starting at a young age, the rule of thumb is for all of the baby teeth to have fallen out and the adult teeth to have grown in before children have braces put on. It makes no sense to straighten baby teeth, as they are temporary. Children as young as eight may need braces if they have very crooked teeth or if their jaw needs to be realigned. However, many kids may not need braces until they reach their teenage years. It depends on how well their teeth and jaw grow and if they sustain mouth injuries.

How Long are Braces Worn?

A child will wear their braces for up to two years. The length is dependent on how long it takes to correctly align their teeth and/or jaw, if realignment of the jaw is necessary. Once the braces are off, many children will need to wear a retainer to make sure their teeth do not slip back into their original positions.

What is the Cost of Braces?

Braces can be expensive, with the average cost being about $5,000. For parents who may not be able to afford braces for their children, even with dental insurance coverage, there are several programs that will help them pay for braces. Some charities offer braces at a reduced cost, and you may be able to get a less expensive price on braces, as well as orthodontic treatments, by going through a dental school. Your orthodontist may have information on programs that can help you cover the cost of braces for your child.

Braces not only help to improve a child's smile, but they may also help to correct their bite, make it easier for them to chew food and help correct speech impediments. While they can be expensive, braces are worth the cost for your child.

Contact an office like Reed Orthodontics to learn more.