Getting word that your child needs braces can come as a shock to some parents, especially if they weren’t expecting it. But while you can’t change the need for braces, you can be prepared with the top things that a parent should know when it comes to their child & braces.
When to start thinking about braces
Usually, around age seven, your child’s Dentist will start to think about referring you to an Orthodontist if they feel that your child might need braces.
This is around the age when most issues, both current and potential, will start to present themselves. But it doesn’t mean that action needs to be taken right away, and your child’s Orthodontist can help develop a plan for the most successful treatment options. It never hurts to talk to your child’s Dentist, either. If your child is between the ages of 7 to 10, asking your child’s Dentist about whether or not braces might be needed can help you prepare.
What types of issues call for braces, and who needs them?
There are a number of Orthodontic issues that call for braces as a treatment option. The most common issues are:
- Overbites (when the top row of teeth protrudes far over the bottom row)
- Underbites (when the bottom row of teeth protrudes over the top row)
- Crossbites (when one row of teeth isn’t vertically aligned with the other)
- Misalignment (when the teeth aren’t aligned within their row)
These are all issues that can affect teeth in a detrimental way by causing excessive wear, uneven wear, or making it harder to clean certain areas of the teeth (leading to decay). Some other issues, such as thumb-sucking and tongue-thrusting, can also lead to the need for braces.
If you’re told by your child’s Dentist or Orthodontist that your child has developed, or is developing any of these issues, then it may be time to ask about braces as an option to correct them.
Questions a Parent Should ask about Braces.
How much do braces cost?
Typically, a safe estimate for the entire cost of braces is between $3,000 - $8,000, but the ultimate cost will depend on a number of factors (including the complexity of your child’s particular case).
Insurance plans often offer partial coverage (usually about 50%) for braces, and most Orthodontic offices are able to offer payment plans for parents.
How long will my child need braces?
This depends on the complexity of your child’s case, but an average estimate is between 18 - 24 months. The issues that the braces are needed to correct plays the biggest part in determining how long of a treatment plan your child will need.
How can I help care for my child’s braces?
Braces are a big investment, for both you and your child! You can help care for your child’s braces by making sure they practice great oral hygiene and continue to brush & floss multiple times a day. Keeping teeth clean throughout treatment is extremely important, and helping your child follow the guidelines set by their Orthodontist will result in a beautiful, straight smile!