In many cases, malocclusions such as crooked, protruding, or overcrowded teeth are conditions that patients are born with or develop early in life. Younger patients often experience an early loss of baby teeth that causes tooth or jaw misalignment. In other cases, extended use of a pacifier or bottle, or even prolonged thumb sucking, can also result in one type of malocclusion or another. And, naturally, poor oral hygiene and/or nutrition from an early age can lead to long-term oral health issues unless these habits are addressed and amended.
As a result of crooked teeth and misaligned teeth, patients both young and old may suffer from the following issues:
- Pain and/or difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
- An inability to speak clearly and distinctly
- Increased risk of tooth and gum disease
- Undue strain on the mouth and jaw muscles
- Feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness
For many Houston children, braces are an effective, permanent method of correcting malocclusions. The question is, are braces the right option for your child?
During a child’s first orthodontic visit, an examination of the teeth and jaws is performed. The examination includes both a visual assessment by an orthodontist as well as an array of dental technologies such as panoramic x-rays, study models (or bite impressions), and computer generated images of the head and neck. Based on information acquired during the “planning phase,” the orthodontist can determine the ideal oral health treatment plan for the patient.
Braces for kids come in a variety of styles. Common orthodontic devices include:
Fixed braces – Composed of metal, ceramic, or a clear synthetic material, fixed braces include individual brackets that affix to a single tooth and an archwire that connects the brackets.
Headgear – An appliance used to treat developmental irregularities, a headgear is a custom-made appliance that attaches to the patient’s head or face via wires that assist in tooth movement.
Retainers – This dental device is worn during the retention phase in order to help teeth maintain their proper alignment and to stabilize the jawbone.
Contact Galleria Dental today to find out more about braces for children in the Houston area.