Getting braces is a great way to help improve your child's smile and the overall health of their teeth. Braces are beneficial in a few ways: cosmetically they help straighten teeth and can give your child more confidence in their appearance. From an oral health perspective, braces can improve tooth quality by preventing overlapping teeth where bacteria and plaque can be difficult to reach and remove. If your child needs braces but they are worried about how they will look with a traditional metal style on their teeth, you may want to talk to their orthodontist about lingual braces. These braces fit behind the teeth so that they are not easily seen while working to straighten your child's smile. To find out if your child is a candidate for lingual braces, there are a few things you should consider.
Age of your child
Since lingual braces fit behind the teeth next to the tongue, they can take more time to get used to and may require more care to prevent food getting stuck in them. Brushing and flossing properly behind the teeth is crucial to keeping these type of braces free of debris and bacteria, especially since food stuck in them cannot be visibly seen. If your child is old enough to brush and floss their own teeth without constant reminding and you feel that they can take the time to perform a rigorous oral care routine, they may be able to try lingual braces over the traditional style.
Size of your child's mouth
Lingual braces are ideal for patients with average-sized mouths so the tongue doesn't constantly press against them. If your child's mouth is too small or they have a narrow jaw, lingual braces can fill up too much space and cause discomfort or mouth sores from the tongue rubbing on them. Lingual braces can also cause patients with smaller mouths to have altered speech for a longer time period than other patients due to the tongue's inability to move as freely as it could prior to braces. This is a subject that your child's orthodontist can address with you by taking measurements and X-rays of your child's mouth.
Lingual braces are a wonderful alternative to traditional braces and are not easily seen, which can allow your child to confidently correct their teeth alignment. If you have concerns about choosing lingual braces for your child's oral health needs, talk to their orthodontist about this type of treatment to see if they are a good candidate for this kind of tooth correction.
For more information about what type of braces would be appropriate for your child, consider contacting a professional like those at Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.