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Orthodontics for Children

It’s never too early to keep an eye on your child’s tooth development. At Notley Dental Care we ensure balanced growth and development of your child’s jaw – allowing enough room for their permanent teeth to come through straight.

We can identify malocclusion (crowded or crooked teeth and bite problems) and actively intervene to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.

What causes crowded teeth and other orthodontic problems?

Malocclusion is often inherited. Orthodontic problems are also caused by dental injuries, early loss of primary teeth; thumb sucking, fingernail biting or lip biting. We can help your child avoid these oral habits that may create orthodontic problems.

Is thumb sucking bad for my child’s teeth?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex. Infants, babies and young children use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. It makes them feel secure and happy and provides a sense of security at difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may induce sleep.

Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment. How intensely a child sucks on fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.

Children should cease thumb sucking by the time their permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Usually, children stop between the ages of two and four. Peer pressure causes many school-aged children to stop.

My child’s new teeth are crooked?

Front teeth often erupt at funny angles and the muscle forces of the tongue and lips usually pull them into the right place over a period of three months. However if the parents have crowded teeth, it may be that the child’s teeth will be sufficiently crowded to prevent the teeth lining up naturally.

In these cases orthodontic tooth movement can be achieved. At Notley Dental Care we normally we wait until all the permanent teeth have erupted (about the age of 12) before starting orthodontic treatment, but it would be worth us having a look if you are concerned to assess your child’s treatment needs.

Why does my child have double Row of Teeth?

At Notley Dental Care we are often asked about kids growing teeth behind their baby teeth. This occurs because the permanent teeth form behind the roots of the baby teeth and sometimes they grow behind the baby tooth before it falls out. When this occurs most the time no treatment is needed, nature usually takes care of the situation, but occasionally the baby tooth does have to be removed. If your child has a permanent tooth growing behind the baby tooth do not panic, be patient; at the next regular check-up visit, an x-ray may be necessary to determine if any treatment is needed.

The chances of the tooth correcting on its own are great if there is room for the tooth to move forward.

How can I keep my mouth healthy wearing braces?

It’s up to you to keep your entire mouth healthy so your soon-to-be straightened smile will last a lifetime. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly will keep your mouth happy and healthy. Proper dental care with orthodontics takes only a little extra effort, but it will be well worth it. When your braces come off, you’ll realize it.

Plaque needs to be thoroughly removed from your teeth a couple of times each day, and when you have braces, it’s even more important to remove plaque. All the brackets and wires in your mouth create places for plaque to hide. Plaque is sticky and made up of food, saliva and lots of bacteria, and when plaque attaches to your braces and teeth, it causes cavities, swollen gums, bad breath, and permanent stain marks on your teeth.

If possible, you should brush your teeth after every time you eat. If you can’t actually brush with a toothbrush, then at least rinse your mouth out with water. Swoosh the water around really well and spit the water out. If you can, carry a travel toothbrush with you.

The best time to do this thorough cleaning is at night, right before you go to bed.

As oral Hygiene is very important during orthodontic treatment and we advise our patients having this treatment to visit our Dental Hygiene/Therapist at Notley Dental Care regularly to help with looking after your child’s oral hygiene when wearing braces. They will show them how to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy using special brushes to clean in between brackets which can become plaque retention factors. They will assist with diet advice to care for their appliance as well as the health of their teeth.

How do I Brush my Teeth with Braces?

Brushing your teeth when you have braces isn’t that much different than brushing your teeth without braces. You still use a soft bristle toothbrush or power toothbrush. You still brush for a full two minutes. You still replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or sooner since the brackets on your braces might make the bristles wear down a little faster.

You still brush around all the parts of your teeth, including the fronts, sides, backs, and chewing surfaces. Make sure you do not rinse your mouth after brushing with water just spit out the excess to ensure you leave as much of the Fluoride paste on your teeth as possible to help strengthen the enamel. Your dentist might also prescribe high strength fluoride toothpaste to help you fight tooth decay even more. Brush gently but thoroughly.

Having wires that connect your braces from tooth to tooth makes flossing a challenge, an easier way is to use different sizes bottle brushes between the brackets and arch wires. There are a lot of other interdental cleaners that might be even easier for you to use. Ask your Hygienist/Therapist for a recommendation

The Negative Impact of Poor Oral Hygiene

Your teeth and smile will be straighter and healthier with braces. Your braces can’t damage your teeth, but poor oral hygiene can and that’s why we stress the importance of brushing and using interdental brushes hen you have braces. As long as you maintain good oral habits, your mouth will be happy for a lifetime.

Brushing, and seeing your dentist/hygienist for a cleaning every six months will prevent problems associated with poor oral hygiene.

Potential hygiene issues with braces:

Gingivitis: Gingivitis, also called gum disease, is the first stage of periodontal disease. It’s usually painless, but signs like bleeding, or swollen and puffy gums are indicators that you have it. This happens when plaque builds up around the gum line, so make sure to massage your gums lightly when you brush, as well as along the gum line.

Periodontitis: If not treated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, infection and inflammation in the gums that spreads to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. The gums start to pull away, forming gaps or pockets between your teeth that allow more plaque to accumulate.

Decalcifications: Decalcifications, sometimes called “white spots,” are permanent stain marks around your braces. Lines and spots from decalcification remain on your teeth for life, so the best way to avoid them is to not let them develop at all. And the best way to do that is to brush.