Getting braces put on is a very common and normal part of childhood. Some estimates state that about 75% of children can expect to have problems with their teeth as their adult teeth come in. It is not very common to grow perfectly straight adult teeth.
However, most young people still have some anxiety about having dental gear put on, and this is very understandable. They wonder what it will feel like, what their teeth will look like, whether it will hurt, and just generally what the whole experience will entail. That’s why it’s important to sit down with your son or daughter. Let them know what to expect before and after the procedure. That way, they can go to the orthodontist knowing what to expect and feeling more confident about what they are doing.
When kids get to the orthodontist they should expect to have an X-ray done. This is so the orthodontist can easily see jaw structure and placement of teeth. They need this so they can form a personalized treatment for each patient. This shouldn’t be too worrisome for young people because most of them should have experienced getting x-rays done at the dentist’s office already.
Spacers are put into the teeth between the molars, and this is usually done at an appointment a week or two before the orthodontics are put on. The spacers are usually similar to rubber bands. These are put in to create the space that is needed to put on the metal molar bands that the wires are attached to. They need to be able to be placed easily, so orthodontists create a little space by putting these spacers in.
Many orthodontists liken the feeling of the spacers to having a piece of meat stuck between your teeth, so your child might find it a little annoying or uncomfortable. Since it is the first time the teeth are being moved, it also might make the back of the mouth a little sore.
Most orthodontists make a mold, or impression, of each of their patient’s mouths. This is so that they can see the intricacies of the mouth and have a perfect mold of what the teeth they are working with look like. This is done by putting liquid into a tray that is then put into the mouth over the teeth. The liquid is usually about the consistency of cake batter. This is an easy and painless part of the process that children shouldn’t be worried about.
Is it Going to Hurt?
The first thing most kids want to know before they head to the orthodontist is whether it will hurt. It’s good to be honest with your son or daughter and let them know that they might experience a bit of discomfort. Generally, getting the dental gear itself put on doesn’t hurt too much, but there is usually a small amount of pain that comes afterward.
As teeth start becoming realigned and move around in the mouth, they can feel sore. Kids should know that they won’t be feeling unbearable or excruciating pain at any point in their experience. It’s simply that after braces are put on and for brief periods of time after they get tightened the mouth might feel achy or tender, especially while eating. There are some easy ways for them to relieve this pain:
- Take mild pain relievers like Tylenol or Aspirin
- Saltwater rinses
- Eat soft foods like mashed potatoes and jello
Getting Them Off
Most children have their dental gear on for roughly two years, so by the time they are meant to come off, they are often more nervous than they were to put them on! They have grown used to how they look and how their mouth feels with the orthodontics. Of course, for the most part, they will just be excited. However, there are some important things to know about what comes after.
Most young people are so excited to see what their teeth will look like after two years of being obscured by metal. Of course, the teeth will be straight and beautiful. But some kids should expect to see some white spots on their teeth. Because certain parts of the teeth have been covered by metal for months or years, the other parts of the teeth might have slightly changed color. This is usually just natural staining of the enamel, and it’s nothing to be worried about. This usually fades and evens out naturally after a short amount of time.
When people don’t take the appropriate measures after they get their corrective gear off, their teeth shift back to where they used to be. That is not what you want after the time, money, and hassle it took to get a beautiful smile! That is why orthodontists create retainers. Most orthodontists take a second mold of the teeth and create a retainer for the child to wear. Most kids can expect to wear their retainer every night for at least a few years. After this, it slows down to just a few times a week, which is much more manageable.
Here’s the Kicker
KinderSmiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is a great place to get dental and orthodontic care done for children. We having been serving people in the northern New Jersey and New York City area for many years. Our experienced staff is dedicated to providing the best service available for your child. At KinderSmiles you get access to the Schulhof Center, which is one of the country’s leading orthodontic centers.
We care about taking care of your child’s teeth before and after they get braces. Our wide range of services is sure to cover what you need. If you are thinking about straightening your child’s teeth sometime soon, give our office a call or visit Dr. Engel to get more information.
Contact us today and see what sets us apart.
KinderSmiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
400 Kinderkamack Rd.
Oradell, NJ 07649
Your Child – Before and After Braces [7 Facts]