Orthodontics, the branch of dentistry concerned with the growth of the teeth, jaws and face, is in high demand. In excess of 200,000 children and teenagers in England and Wales have treatment within the NHS every year, with growing numbers of adults and young people seeking treatment on a private basis.
Why is orthodontics so popular?
Orthodontic treatment is about making the best of your teeth; it's about improving the harmony of your mouth and jaws. Once you can bite together correctly, you can eat more comfortably and care for your teeth and gums more easily. And your smile will benefit immensely!
Why do children need orthodontic treatment?
Children require orthodontic treatment for different reasons and are prime candidates as their ongoing growth can result in an optimal result within a shorter treatment time.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment for children include:
Protruding upper teeth – sometimes caused by thumb sucking
Spacing between teeth
Impacted or displaced teeth
When are children treated by braces?
Most children are treated after the age of 12, once all of their adult teeth have erupted and there are no baby teeth left.
Some children may be treated earlier if they require growth modification or early interceptive treatment.
What is early interceptive treatment?
Early interceptive treatment is used to describe any early treatment that is done at under 10 years of age. This can be important as children are still growing which gives the opportunity to correct problems early as they start to develop.
Advantages of early interceptive treatment
Guide dental development to avoid long and complex orthodontic treatment
Creating room or preserving space for crowded teeth
Reducing the need for removal of adult teeth in the fixed orthodontic phase
Shortening treatment time with braces
Avoiding possible dental surgery if teeth fail to grow and get stuck inside the jaw bone
Reducing the risk of trauma of protruding front teeth
Facilitate healthy facial growth
Correcting undersized or oversized jaws or asymmetrical jaw growth
Can children have braces on the NHS?
The NHS employs a scoring system to deem whether a child is eligible for NHS treatment. NHS orthodontic referrals will be done at the appropriate age, which is generally when the adult teeth have all grown through.
If your child is eligible for NHS orthodontic treatment, they will be referred to a local orthodontic practice where they will be assessed and their options will be provided for them.
If they are not eligible for NHS treatment, please discuss the options with your dentist as we can offer the treatment within Dental Sense for your child. Your child will be assessed and the options for their treatment with the costs will be given.
Early interceptive treatment is not generally carried out on the NHS.
What types of brace are available for children?
Depending on what the brace is needed for children require a removeable brace, fixed braces, or a combination of the two.
Removeable braces are used for interceptive treatment, to correct the position of the jaws, or to facilitate fixed brace treatment.
Fixed braces are the train tracks that children commonly refer to. For children they are generally in metal. However if you would like to consider clear braces for your child, please let us know.