At Gallagher Orthodontics, we believe identifying bite and alignment issues early is an essential aspect of oral health. We provide various types of braces for kids to address the problems that become more difficult as they grow older. Kids also find getting braces easier when they’re at an age where they tend to focus less on their appearance.

During a consultation appointment with Dr. Gallagher, he will assess whether your child could benefit from braces and recommend how to proceed. If you decide to move forward, he will then create a customized treatment plan to optimize your child’s results. Braces can be put on the same day as your consultation.

During each visit with Dr. Gallagher, he will tighten the wires and replace the rubber bands, ensuring continual pressure. The mild force allows the teeth to gradually shift into place, giving your child the smile they deserve.

When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

Ideally, children should visit an orthodontist around when they turn seven years old. At this age, their jaw is formed enough that Dr. Gallagher can tell if any bite or alignment issues are developing or likely to occur in the future. A child’s first few permanent teeth will also appear at six or seven years old, making it easier to gauge if they’ll have enough room in their mouth to accommodate all their adult teeth.

If you notice any issues before your child reaches the recommended age, don’t hesitate to make an appointment. We can put braces on kids earlier if the situation calls for them. However, we usually wait until they’re older and all their baby teeth have fallen out. Even if your child doesn’t require braces right now, a quick consultation with Dr. Gallagher will give you an idea if they’ll need them down the line.

Reasons for Early Treatment

While many people consider braces an aesthetic device, they’re also a helpful tool for those suffering from specific issues. Kids with misaligned bites, severe crowding, or large spaces between teeth would benefit from getting braces at an earlier age. These issues can lead to more significant problems down the line, such as tooth decay, discomfort, difficulty chewing, and speech impediments.

Since these kinds of issues typically take longer to correct, it’s usually best to begin the process as soon as possible. Getting braces for kids entering their teen years often can have more of an impact on their self-image and confidence.

What To Expect When Your Child Starts Treatment

At your consultation, Dr. Gallagher will take x-rays of your child’s mouth and examine the photos for concerning areas. If he finds any severe problems, he will discuss your options and recommend specific braces. He will then formulate a personalized treatment plan based on your child’s corrective needs.

During this initial consultation, Dr. Gallagher and his team will also review all financial options with you and answer any questions you may have. He can then apply your child’s braces that same day and get the process started.

Initial discomfort is common, so if your child experiences any pain or discomfort, they can take over-the-counter pain medication, or we can suggest some other options for relief. Oral hygiene remains especially important during this stage in the process, as they will need to learn how to brush their teeth while also navigating around the brackets and wires. Failing to properly brush their teeth around the braces could allow bacteria to build up and lead to further problems.

Another part of the adjustment period includes adjusting to their new diet. After the application of their braces, your child will need to avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods, which eliminates most candy. These types of foods are more likely to damage or break parts of the braces, which can be quite uncomfortable.

After they finish eating, your child will need to make sure no food remains stuck in their braces as it will cause bacteria growth if left there. Each meal should always be followed up by their oral health routine to protect their braces and future smile!