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How to improve your child’s oral health through braces?

Published: Sep 20, 2023 Last Updated: Dec 13, 2023
Image of child with braces wearing purple glasses smiling.

Braces help with altering misaligned teeth and straightening them to create a gorgeous smile. When you hear the word braces, the first thought might be that of how they are able to alter the appearance of a person. But there is more to braces than just creating a perfect smile.

Braces do not just improve the appearance; they realign the jaw as well. Dentists suggest braces for children who are in their teens as this is the time when dental development is reaching its completion and dentists are able to improve dental makeup.

This orthodontic treatment varies according to the needs of each child, age, and their oral health. The different types of braces that are commonly found are the brackets, clear braces, aligners etc. Some types of braces include elastics and rubber bands as well. The type and material to be used are decided after dental consultation and the preference of the user. Braces help to improve the oral health of the person and reduce dental issues that affect the child’s speech and dental makeup.

Correcting dental issues

Braces are the go-to dental appliances for issues that affect the bite. Overbite, underbite, crooked teeth, and malocclusions can be corrected by using braces. Issues of alignment with the teeth and jaws are corrected by wearing correctly fitted braces.

Dentists examine the dental makeup of the child, use X –rays to understand the underlying issues and give advice on the type of treatment that is needed. By wearing braces, the teeth that are away from their desired position are moved to the correct position. This process is done gradually, the braces apply pressure to the teeth and the teeth move to the correct position.

The braces need to be worn for the time till the teeth move to the correct position, dentists will tighten the braces to support the movement of the teeth. If the issues are due to ‘extra teeth’, then the extra teeth are extracted so that the required teeth occupy the correct position in the jaws.

Braces support the jawline

Teeth get their position based on how they are placed in their jawline. If there are too many teeth, then the jaw line is unable to support the complete set of teeth. In that case, the teeth shift their position, and remain crooked in the jawline. The jawline loses its shape due to this, but when braces are used, this particular issue of overcrowding of the jaw line is resolved.

The health and shape of the jawline improves when a patient starts using braces. Alignment of the jawline does not happen at the beginning; it happens after teeth straightening. When the teeth are not crooked, and they are able to get their desired position, dentists proceed to correct the jawline. This is done by dentists using springs and coils, which are attached to the braces. Just like braces, these springs and coils help to push the jawline to the correct position. An improved appearance is seen in children with the change in the shape and form of the face and lips. A correctly aligned jawline will help in supporting the teeth and improving oral health.

Braces stop tooth decay

In children, the most common dental issue is tooth decay. Usually, children consume food that is high in sugar content. If there is improper cleaning, then food stuck between teeth stays there. This food will attract bacterial action. The bacteria act on the food and releases acid which damages the teeth and brings in tooth decay.

Overcrowded and crooked teeth provide a good opportunity for tooth decay. Food can easily stay between the teeth and attract more bacterial action and speed up tooth decay. When braces are worn, the overcrowding of teeth can be addressed. Food does not get stuck between teeth and it is easy to clean the teeth with simple brushing. Thus, chances of tooth decay are reduced greatly due to braces. By wearing properly fitted braces, the teeth are straightened and along with improved appearance, the patient will also have cleaner and healthier teeth.

Braces reduce gum disease

In connection with tooth decay, gum diseases are also seen in children. Symptoms of gum diseases include inflammation, irritation and swelling of the gums. In some cases, bleeding from the gums is also seen. When the health of the gums is affected, they lose the ability to support the teeth and oral development is lost. When braces are worn, extra teeth are removed and the teeth are straightened, this improves the health of the gums along with improving the alignment of the teeth.

A common problem found in children is tooth decay. But when wearing braces, the chances of tooth decay are reduced because it corrects the overcrowding of teeth. It improves the health of the gums by facilitating easy cleaning. With correct spacing and placement of the teeth on the gums and with good alignment, chances of dental issues are greatly reduced. Plaque and tartar deposits near the base of the teeth and near the jawline do not happen easily and oral health is supported along with dental health.

Less dental injuries

Crooked or protruding teeth are seen in the case of issues like overbite and underbite. Dental injuries are more common when teeth are protruding. Chances of trauma to the teeth and injury to the oral tissues are more common with accidents if there are protruding teeth. When braces are worn, the teeth are straightened and the chances of trauma to the oral region are less.

Proper alignment of the teeth helps in reducing dental injuries and braces support health in this way. When there are bite problems, the incorrect bite will lead to more wear and tear in the teeth. This extra strain on the teeth will wear away the dental enamel and bring in dental issues like teeth sensitivity and also other associated dental problems. Bites can be corrected using braces and issues like injuries, wear and tear and other associated problems can be set right as well. This will lead to definite improvement of oral health in children.

MP Orthodontics is an orthodontic practice based in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Working from the belief that orthodontic treatment is much more than working with teeth and creating smiles, treating orthodontists – Dr Martin Poon and Dr Geoff Hall – approach patients as people first. Their approach is to work together and plan and implement treatment that meets each individual’s needs. Drawing on 30 plus years experience of helping children gain confidence through tailored treatment, MP Orthodontics, is a truly unique orthodontic practice.

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