Most common questions and answers about kids’ braces

girl with braces

If you’re considering getting braces for your child, you probably have a lot of questions, and so does your kid! In this article, we wanted to put all of the most commonly asked questions about kids braces in one easy-to-find place so you can get all your questions answered quickly!

Remember – knowledge is power. If you or your child are feeling nervous about the braces process, the information here will help you feel more educated and in control, so you can make the best decision for your child’s orthodontic treatment.

1. When should my child get braces? 

Most children get braces between the ages of 9 and 14, though some need braces earlier and of course, adults can get braces, too. Your child is ready to get braces once they’ve lost the vast majority of their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth have come in. Of course, every case is different. The best way to know when it’s time for your child to get braces is to bring them in for a consultation with one of our orthodontists.

2.  How long do kids braces need to be worn? 

Most kids wear their braces for around 18 months, but some children wear braces for longer or shorter amounts of time. The time your child will need to wear braces is determined by how much the teeth need to move to achieve proper alignment. In general, the more the teeth have to move, the longer your child will wear braces.

3.  Will my child have to change what they eat while wearing braces?

While wearing braces, your child will need to adjust what they eat. With any type of braces other than Invisalign, your child will need to avoid crunchy or sticky foods like popcorn, caramel and carrots, which can stick to the brackets of kids braces and pop them off the teeth.
If your child is older, they may be able to get Invisalign. Invisalign aligners are removable, so your child’s diet would not need to change when using Invisalign to straighten the teeth.

4.  Do kids braces hurt? 

Many kids often wonder Does getting braces hurt? Good news – they don’t. When braces are first applied, the child may experience some ache and discomfort as the teeth begin to be gently pulled into their correct position. This discomfort will fade in about 24 hours, but your child can take an OTC pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen until the discomfort subsides. This same discomfort will happen each time your child’s rubber bands and arch wires are exchanged, because each new arch wire moves the teeth a little more.

5.  Is it hard to keep teeth clean while wearing braces? 

Kids braces do make brushing and flossing a bit harder, but it’s certainly doable, even for young children. We suggest using a water flosser such as a Waterpik, as well flossers made for braces and whatever type of toothbrush works best to keep teeth clean while wearing braces.

Got more questions about kids braces? 

Come see us! Our Atlanta orthodontists will be happy to meet your child and answer all your questions about kids braces.