Braces in Wilmington, DE
Children should receive their first orthodontic assessment around seven or eight years old. By this time, the first molars and incisors have arrived, and your Wilmington, DE, dentist can begin to assess if there will be complications with your little one's bite or crowding in the future.
What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?
Some kids can benefit from interceptive or phase one of orthodontic treatment. This early orthodontic treatment helps create space for adult teeth trying to come into an overly crowded dentition. Interceptive orthodontics is also ideal for children with severe overbites, underbites, or open bites that are causing concerns early on.
Phase one orthodontic treatment takes advantage of your child's growth and an early opportunity to correct misaligned bites or create space for future teeth, which sets your child up for a successful and efficient second phase of orthodontic treatment when they're 12 to 14 years old.
When It's Time for Braces in Wilmington, DE
Around seven and eleven, your son or daughter's mouth will change tremendously. Their jaw and mouth are still growing, which is a perfect time to intervene non-invasively, if necessary.
For example, if your child has a narrow palate and crowding is apparent, a palatal expander may be necessary. This is not painful, and we place it on the inside of the roof of the mouth. As your child grows, it will expand and widen the upper arch, so adult teeth have plenty of room to erupt, and we can prevent crowding and crooked teeth. This may either eliminate the need for surgery and braces in the future or at least minimize orthodontic issues.
Why Interceptive Orthodontics May Be Beneficial
Certain orthodontic conditions can be pretty uncomfortable if they're left untreated. Consider underbites (Jay Leno is an example), where the lower jaw protrudes farther out than the upper jaw. When you don't correct an underbite, it can cause jaw pain, excessive wear to tooth enamel, an increased chance of developing tooth decay or gum disease, speech problems, and self-consciousness.
Other conditions that may warrant orthodontic intervention include overbites, missing teeth, extra teeth, incorrect jaw positioning, or other joint disorders. The ideal age to begin orthodontic treatment is between nine and thirteen years; however, people of any age can benefit from having orthodontic treatment.
Besides the now popular Invisalign braces, fixed orthodontic appliances are pretty effective. These include:
- Brackets bonded to the teeth, which are available in a variety of colors and materials
- "Invisible" lingual-type brackets, which we attach to the backs of the teeth
- Metal bands that wrap around the teeth
Oral Healthcare and Braces in Wilmington, DE
It is essential to take special care of your teeth while you are wearing braces. In particular, you should:
- Brush your teeth after every meal with a soft-bristled toothbrush removing the food particles that can become caught in the braces.
- Floss daily.
- Make sure you see your dentist for a good cleaning every six months.
- Limit how much sugar and starch you eat. These foods are sticky and tend to leave behind debris, which bacteria metabolize into acid, which damages the tooth structure and encourages plaque formation. Be sure to brush after snacks!
- Avoid hard and sticky snacks that may be difficult to remove from the braces. Potentially problematic foods include hard foods (hard candy, popcorn, ice chips, nuts) and sticky foods (caramel, chewing gum, taffy, and other gummy candies).
We apply a fluoride varnish around the brackets to help prevent the white spots that sometimes appear on teeth after we remove the braces.
Contact us today to schedule an orthodontic consultation at our Pike Creek, DE, dental office!