Did you know that more than 4 million people in the United States have braces and that the majority of them are children and teens? Braces can offer a lot of benefits to those who need them, but as a parent, you might be wondering, “How long do braces last on children?” There is no one answer to this question because it will depend on several different variables.
Some of the variables you will need to consider include the type of braces you get for your child, how well your child takes care of his or her dental health while wearing braces, and how crooked your child’s teeth are. Keep reading and learn more about these details below.
Types of Braces to Consider
When it comes to the different types of braces for kids, metal braces are by far the most traditional option. Metal braces involve brackets and wires. Your dentist will glue the brackets to the middle of your child’s teeth before connecting them with wires.
Once the dentist tightens these wires, the braces will begin to put pressure on your child’s teeth. Over time, this pressure will start to move the teeth into place. This is the mechanism behind all braces, but some braces can do this better and faster than others.
Even though metal braces have a long history, they are not necessarily the fastest of all braces. In general, ceramic braces are slightly faster at straightening teeth than metal braces. Ceramic braces are very similar to metal braces but they are more streamlined.
They are thinner and they also are designed to match the color of one’s teeth. This makes them much less noticeable than metal braces. They are also very strong and can straighten teeth in no time at all.
Often, your child will see the final results of their teeth within a year or so. There are also clear aligners such as Invisalign. These aligners seem to achieve the quickest results when it comes to straightening teeth.
They are also, as the name suggests, clear, which makes them very difficult, if not impossible, to notice. This can be ideal if your child is self-conscious about her teeth and doesn’t want to draw any more attention to them with braces.
Clear aligners are also removable. This is unlike traditional braces which a dentist will need to adhere to your child’s teeth. However, because clear aligners are removable, your child will need to take extra good care of them.
Braces Maintenance and Dental Health
Many children don’t understand the importance of braces maintenance or dental health. If you don’t pay attention, your child might try to go for days without brushing her teeth. When you get braces for your child, you can’t let this happen.
Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of money, and braces cost quite a lot in some cases. In order to ensure that you are not throwing away a large chunk of your budget on your child’s braces, you will need to show your child how to clean their braces the right way. You will also need to promote good dental health.
The reason why these factors are important is that they can greatly affect how long your child has braces. If your child eats sticky candy all day and that candy gets stuck in the braces, it will not only damage your child’s teeth but the braces as well. If your child does not take good care of her braces, they will not work as well as they are supposed to.
If your child does not brush her teeth regularly while wearing braces, her teeth may also end up stained. This, of course, is not the result you want to see after waiting a year or two for your child’s teeth to straighten out. If you get your child clear aligners, you will have to be especially diligent when it comes to making sure that your child is caring for the aligners correctly.
For example, you’re not supposed to eat with clear aligners, but you might forget to tell your child that. If your child eats food while wearing the clear aligners, she might bend them out of shape and ruin them forever. So, you will need to spend more time and money to fix your child’s teeth.
The Severity of Your Child’s Teeth
As mentioned before, it usually takes about a year to straighten a child’s teeth. The teeth of children tend to straighten faster than the teeth of adults. That’s because the mouth of a child has not yet fully developed yet.
For that reason, braces can more easily push teeth around and straighten them. However, not all crooked teeth are the same. For that reason, some teeth may take longer to straighten than others.
If your child’s teeth are only slightly crooked, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Your child might even get straight teeth faster than usual. But if your child’s teeth are very crooked, you may have to wait a bit longer.
You will likely need to bring your child to the dentist more often. This is because the dentist will need to keep tightening the braces and ensuring that your child’s teeth are moving as they should. In this case, it may take around two years before your child can get her braces off.
How Long Do Braces Last?
How long do braces last, you might ask? It all depends on what kind of braces you get, how well your child takes care of the braces, and how crooked your child’s teeth are.
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