As you child has grown older, his or her baby teeth will begin to loosen and fall out. They will be replaced by permanent adult teeth. Adult teeth are larger than baby teeth, and as they begin to erupt, you may notice that your child’s smile is becoming crowded. If you think a visit to the orthodontist is in your future, you may be imagining what a life with braces will bring for your child.
The process for braces begins with an examination. The orthodontist will look at x-rays and will make a mold of the teeth. Some orthodontists are able to do this without messy, time-consuming trays by utilizing laser light and computers to create a 3D image of your child’s mouth in only a few minutes, a process that is vastly more comfortable for your child.
Application of the braces typically takes between one to two hours. Metal brackets or bands and wires are used to achieve the first stages of treatment. Because your child’s mouth will be open for a long time, it’s helpful to be certain that he or she is properly hydrated before application, and that a lip balm is used to protect dry, stretched lips from cracking. It can be useful to give your child a dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever that reduces inflammation, such as ibuprofen, prior to beginning application. This can help get ahead of any discomfort that your child will experience later that day.
Your child will probably experience some discomfort in the two to three days following application or wire adjustment. Have plenty of soft foods on hand and administer pain relieving medications as necessary. Help your child get plenty of rest so that he or she can have time to recover.
It’s important to ensure that your child is continuing to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing have never been more important. Ask child orthodontist Dr. Fotovat if you live in the Sherman Oaks area about these and other questions you might have about how your child will feel with new braces.