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  • Hamden, CT - 2200 Whitney Avenue suite 250 06518
  • Orange, CT - 291 S. Lambert Road 06477
  • 203 288-7273 | Hamden, CT - 2200 Whitney Avenue suite 250
  • 203 795-8778 | Orange, CT - 291 S. Lambert Road

Braces for Children

Many children are ambivalent about getting braces.  On the one hand, they like the idea of perfect teeth, but on the other hand they are nervous about whether the braces will cause pain and discomfort.  The good news is that the placement of orthodontic braces is not at all painful, and the end result will be a beautiful straight smile.

Although patients of any age can benefit from orthodontic braces, they tend to work much quicker on pre-teens and teenagers since they are still experiencing jaw growth.  The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children should first see an orthodontist around the age of seven years-old.  An orthodontic examination may be beneficial before age seven if facial or oral irregularities are noted.

What Causes misalignment of teeth?

Poorly aligned teeth often cause problems speaking, biting and chewing.  Most irregularities are genetic or occur as a result of developmental issues.  Conversely, some irregularities are acquired or greatly exacerbated by certain habits and behaviors such as:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Prolonged pacifier use
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition

What’s involved when a child gets braces?

The orthodontist initially conducts a visual examination of the child’s teeth.  This will be accompanied by panoramic x-rays, study models (bite impressions) and computer generated images of the head and neck.  These preliminary assessments are sometimes known as the “planning phase” because they aid the orthodontist in making a diagnosis and planning the most effective treatment.

In many cases, the orthodontist will recommend “fixed” orthodontic braces for a child.  Fixed braces cannot be lost, forgotten or removed at will, which means that treatment is completed more quickly.  Removable appliances may also be utilized, which are less intrusive, and are generally used to treat various types of defects.

Here is a brief overview of some of the main types of orthodontic appliances used for children:

  • Fixed braces – Braces comprised of brackets which are affixed to each individual tooth, and an archwire which connect the brackets.  The brackets are usually made of metal, ceramic, or a clear synthetic material which is less noticeable to the naked eye.  After braces have been applied, the child will have regular appointments to have the braces adjusted by the orthodontist.  Orthodontic elastic bands are often added to the braces to aid in the movement of specific teeth.

  • Headgear – This type of appliance is most useful to treat developmental irregularities.  A headgear is a custom-made appliance attached to wire that is worn to aid in tooth movement.  A headgear is intended to be worn for 12-20 hours r each day and must be worn as recommended to achieve good results.

  • Retainers – Retainers are typically utilized in the third phase (retention phase).  When the original malocclusion has been treated with braces, it is essential that the teeth do not regress back to the original misalignment.  Wearing a retainer ensures the teeth maintain their proper alignment, and gives the jawbone around the teeth a chance to stabilize.

If you have questions about braces for children, please contact our office.

Testimonials

I want to thank you for recommending Invisalign braces when I first visited your office 14 months ago. My dentist highly recommended you since one of your specialties is adult orthodontics. It has been such a positive, easy experience using the clear aligners and I am thrilled with my new beautiful, straight teeth. You cannot imagine the additional self-confidence it has given me.

As you know, work in sales and marketing and I am in my late 50's. For years I have wanted to straighten my teeth because I was always self conscience of my teeth. I wish I had visited your office years ago because the process of the removable, Invisalign aligners allowed me to continue to transact business and enjoy social activities with people no realizing I was wearing braces.

All of your office staff was so professioal and accommodating with appointments, and I want to thank you personally for the dental guidance and encouragement you have given me. You have literally changed my life and I wish I had decided to do this procedure years ago.

L. L.

Dr. Schpero is absolutely amazing. The experience from start to finish has been seamless, and dare I say-painless?! Dr. Schpero is the consummate professional, making sure that I understood each step and answering any questions or concerns that I had. I could see an improvement in my teeth almost immediately, and, now that my braces are off, I cannot tell you how happy I am with how my teeth look. I would recommend Dr. Schpero to anyone, and thoughly enjoyed my entire experience with him and all of his staff. Thank you so much, I will actually miss seeing you and your staff on a monthly basis!

M.F.

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