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Braces for Kids and Teens


A teenager with braces smiling at Senestraro Family Orthodontics.There are lots of milestones in the life of a parent that we all look forward to. However, one of those milestones - braces - you may not be so thrilled about. You may have an image in your head of trips to visit us, whiny kids, and mouthfuls of metal. However, you will be happy to know that times have changed. The earlier that your child begins treatment, the shorter the amount of time they will need to spend wearing braces.

Children can begin orthodontic care as early as 7 years of age. If you are worried that your child or teenager may need braces, Senestraro Family Orthodontics has some facts for you about braces for children and teens.

Why Do Kids and Teens Need Braces?


Kids and teens often need braces for many of the same reasons adults need braces. They may need braces to correct a problem with their bites. They could also use braces to correct crooked teeth. They might also need their spacing or crowding issues in their mouth fixed. While we used to think we needed to wait until all of a child’s permanent teeth have come in before beginning treatment, that’s not the case anymore.

Researchers have found that the earlier someone begins treatment, the better. Because a child’s mouth is still growing, orthodontic problems are easier to correct. When problems are corrected early, they may not need as invasive a treatment plan, and the duration of their treatment plan is shorter.

How Do I Know When Orthodontics Might Be Necessary?


You may not be able to tell whether your child needs braces just by looking at their mouths. The easiest way to find out if your child or adult needs braces is to come and see us for a consultation. We can evaluate their need for orthodontic care. There are signs you can look for in your child’s mouth before you bring them in to see us.

If your child lost teeth very early, or very late, they may need orthodontic care. If they sucked their thumb or used their pacifiers for a long time, they might also need care. If your child or teenager often breathes through their mouth or snores, they need care as well. If you notice your teenager has problems biting or chewing food, and their jaws seem to shift or pop when they eat, they may need care. Unequal spacing of teeth and crowded teeth also point to a child who needs treatment.

What Kinds of Braces Are Available for Kids and Teens?


When you bring your child in to see us, we will evaluate your child. There are several options for orthodontic solutions available, and we can help you figure out which kind of braces are a good idea. Often, children and teens benefit from traditional braces. Many children aren’t responsible enough yet for Invisalign® - which are sets of plastic aligners that are worn 22 hours a day. Children’s teeth are also sometimes complicated to fix, which requires traditional braces.

The look of braces has changed considerably. Brackets and bands come in different colors and are made of lighter metals, so they are less noticeable. Lingual braces might also be an option for your child. Lingual braces mean that your child could wear braces behind their teeth instead of in front of their teeth. There are teenagers who are responsible enough to wear aligners as well.

Do you have a child who needs braces? We can help! Why not call Senestraro Family Orthodontics at (503) 694-9636. Let us take a look at your child’s mouth and come up with the best treatment plan for them!
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