If your dentist has just told you that your child needs braces, your first thoughts might be about visually enhancing your child’s smile. Straight teeth offer many more advantages that will provide lifelong benefits to children who have their smiles fixed at a young age. It’s best to act on your dentist’s recommendation immediately, so that your child can begin experiencing the benefits of an improved smile as soon as possible.
When upper and lower teeth are well aligned, your child will have a picture perfect smile that can last a lifetime with proper aftercare. Well aligned teeth are also easier to brush and floss and function better during chewing.
After your child’s teeth are straightened, his or her mouth will appear to be better proportioned to other facial features – so there is a lasting overall aesthetic improvement.
All children feel a little self conscious when the braces are first put into place. This feeling will dissipate quickly, especially when they see more of their peers sporting orthodontics.
Straight teeth and a bright smile can increase your child’s confidence in the classroom, when speaking or singing, and in all future interpersonal relationships. This confidence carries over throughout his or her life, to provide poise and confidence during college and job interviews many years down the road.
Additional Health Benefits
Braces that correctly align your child’s teeth are not just a cosmetic investment. Your child can also expect to receive many other overall health benefits:
- When bite mechanics are corrected with braces, chewing, eating and digestion are improved.
- Straight teeth might even improve any problems your child has with speaking clearly and eliminate any tendency to lisp.
- Your child will be less likely to experience a painful condition called TMJ, temporomandibular joint disfunction. In this debilitating condition, pain radiates outward from the jaw and sometimes causes the jaws to lock for a period of time, making speaking and eating impossible.
- Properly aligned teeth will reduce the likelihood of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
When teeth meet properly, stress is evenly distributed during the bite, making chipping and cracking of teeth less likely later in life. When teeth break down like this, they may need to be removed and replaced by expensive bridges or implants.
- Braces will eliminate one possible cause of chronic headaches, neck pain, or back aches.
What is the Best Age for Braces?
A dentist will point out any immediate problems as soon as they become apparent during a regular check-up. He or she will also provide advice on when active orthodontic treatment should begin. Both the American Dental Association along with the American Association of Orthodontists recommend that children receive an evaluation for orthodontic issues before their seventh birthday.