With some children, it’s clear to see they will need braces as soon as the permanent teeth come in on top of each other or at an awkward angle. Other children develop orthodontic issues due to an illness, injury, or oral habit such as thumb sucking or pacifier use. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to schedule an orthodontic evaluation around age seven if they have any concerns about future care. Some indications that your child may need braces include:

  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Irregular intersection of teeth
  • Large gap between teeth
  • One or more protruding teeth
  • Speech is hard to understand
  • Thumb sucking past age five

What to Expect from Pediatric Orthodontic Treatment

If your child receives traditional braces, an orthodontist adheres brackets and wires to his or her teeth with a bonding agent. Your child may have the opportunity to choose different colored brackets or clear brackets to make the treatment less visible to others.

Invisalign is another option that involves wearing a customized clear plastic retainer. An orthodontist provides your child with a set of Invisalign trays that he or she exchanges for a new one about once every two weeks. Both types of orthodontic treatment place continuous pressure on your child’s teeth until they move into the desired position.

Length of Orthodontic Treatment

Your child’s orthodontic treatment includes wearing traditional braces or Invisalign retainers followed by a typical retainer. The total time can vary considerably and averages between one and three years. The severity of orthodontic problems, method of treatment, and your child’s age are just some of the individual factors that determine treatment time.

Schedule a Consultation to Learn More

During your child’s first appointment with an orthodontist, he or she will evaluate the teeth and decide if pursuing orthodontic treatment would be helpful. If so, the orthodontist will present your options and make a recommendation. You should receive a cost estimate at this appointment as well. Be sure to check with your dental insurance provider to see what, if any, coverage you have for orthodontic treatment. Several Hutto area clinics offer monthly payment plans, interest-free financing, or the ability to use pre-tax dollars to help make treatment as affordable as possible.