Monday, February 27, 2012

Does my child really need braces?

By - Agnes Kumar, DDS

Some parents ask this question as they are weary of orthodontists. There is a stereotype that an orthodontist will tell everyone that they need braces. This is a tricky question to answer since most likely no one will die if braces are not done. I think the root of this question is really what are the possible outcomes if braces are not done. Of course it all depends on individual circumstances such as genetic predisposition, skeletal relationships, size of teeth, etc. Sometimes the recommendation for braces is not esthetic but functional. Sometimes the jaws do not meet up well and could predispose a child to a lifetime of dental problems. It is well worth it to consult with a dentist regarding the function as well as esthetics of a growing child. The way teeth look in a child’s mouth is also important. It affects their smile and speech. Some kids are shy about smiling because they feel their smile is unattractive. Having a beautiful smile can be very beneficial to one’s self-esteem. I might add that this is true not only to children but adults as well. There are many adults who greatly benefit from orthodontic treatment. There are some options that are more camouflaged than metal brackets. So I encourage adults to consider this option as well.