Smile Alignment: A Guide to Pediatric Braces for Children

Posted on April 24, 2024

Braces are common for many children and teens as they grow. They improve the appearance of a smile and correct malocclusions that could affect how children eat and speak. Understanding the what, when, and how of pediatric braces can help parents navigate this phase of their child’s dental development. This guide explains pediatric braces, shedding light on the benefits, processes, and what to expect during treatment.

What Are Pediatric Braces?

Pediatric braces are devices used in orthodontics that align and straighten teeth and help position them properly to a person’s bite while also aiming to improve dental health. They are typically used to flaws of the teeth and jaws. Braces can be cosmetic or structural and are available in various types, including traditional metal, ceramic, and invisible aligners.

Why Consider Braces for Children?

The primary goal of braces is to create a healthy and attractive alignment of the teeth, which often translates into a more pleasing appearance. However, the benefits of braces go far beyond aesthetics:

  • Improved Oral Health: Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
  • Correcting Bite Issues: Malocclusions, or teeth misalignments, can lead to difficulties in chewing and speaking. Braces help in aligning the teeth to ensure the bite functions optimally.
  • Long-Term Savings: Addressing dental issues early can often prevent more complex and expensive dental procedures later in life.
  • Boost in Confidence: A straight smile can significantly boost a child’s self-esteem, which is crucial during the formative years.

When to Start Orthodontic Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit no later than age 7. By this age, most children have a mix of baby and adult teeth, making it easier for orthodontists to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems

For many children, the actual treatment with braces begins between the ages of 9 and 14. This is when most permanent teeth come in, and the facial bones grow. The timing can vary greatly depending on the child’s individual growth and the specific issues they might have.

Types of Braces for Children

  • Traditional Metal Braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Invisible Aligners

The orthodontist will go over these and explain the benefits of each.

What to Expect During Treatment

  • Initial Consultation: This first visit assesses the child’s teeth and determines if braces are needed. It involves taking X-rays, making molds, and formulating a treatment plan.
  • Application: Braces are not painful to apply, though mild discomfort can be expected as the teeth move. The process typically takes one to two hours.
  • Adjustments: Braces require regular adjustments, usually every 4-6 weeks.
  • Aftercare: Post-treatment, most children must wear a retainer to keep the teeth in place.


Pediatric braces can be a significant commitment, but their benefits can last a lifetime. They improve not only the look of a child’s smile but also their oral health. By understanding the basics of pediatric braces, parents can prepare to make informed decisions about their child’s dental care, ensuring a smooth and successful orthodontic journey. Contact Nevada Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule your child’s evaluation.

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