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Orthodontics for children in Omaha, NE
Orthodontics for children in Omaha, NE

Orthodontics for Children in Omaha, NE

A Healthy Smile Starts Early

Orthodontics can play an important role in your child’s oral and overall health. Early treatment helps prepare the mouth for permanent teeth and can promote a healthier smile and bite throughout the child’s lifetime. By undergoing the necessary orthodontic care, your child will bite and chew more easily and have a better time developing clear speech. If it’s time for your child to see an orthodontist, contact Braces Omaha in Omaha, NE today. We’ll set up a free consultation with our board-certified expert, Dr. Stevens to evaluate your child’s dental health and see how orthodontics can help. 

The Purpose of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontics has a goal to create a straight smile and a healthy bite that functions properly. Orthodontists accomplish this goal by using appliances to align the teeth and jaws. A straight smile promotes better overall health and straight teeth are easier to keep clean. This helps reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease with regular brushing and flossing. 

A huge benefit to orthodontic treatment is the impact on self-confidence. Patients feel more confident with a straight smile and can feel more comfortable eating, speaking, and laughing around others. 

What Type of Dentist Provides Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontists like Dr. Stevens specialize in orthodontic care. Every orthodontist is a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist. Orthodontists must complete several additional years of training after dental school. This provides them with hands-on experience treating patients of all ages with a variety of orthodontic needs. If you or your child need any type of orthodontic care, an orthodontist is the most qualified dental specialist to see.

How to Tell if Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment

Parents can usually tell when something is “off”  about their child’s teeth or jaws. If you get the suspicion that something may be wrong, you should take them to a specialist for an evaluation. Some conditions that may indicate your child needs early orthodontic treatment include: 

  • Losing baby teeth too early or too late 
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Misaligned teeth 
  • Mouth breathing
  • Crowded teeth 
  • Disproportionate teeth or jaws 
  • Thumb sucking after ages 2–4 

The Right Age for Orthodontic Treatment

There is no right age that applies to everyone. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist no later than the age of 7. Around this age, children have a mixture of baby and adult teeth. Plus, the jaws are continuing to develop. Your orthodontist will use this information to detect any current issues and steps to take to avoid future alignment problems. 

There is an ideal time for your child to begin treatment, which could be sooner or later than age 7. By seeing an orthodontist early, you can start your child on the ideal timeline that’s specific to their individual needs. 

Should We Wait Until My Child Has All of His/Her Permanent Teeth?

Your child should be seen by an orthodontist before all of the permanent teeth come in. Once this happens, facial growth is nearly complete. It is difficult to correct some orthodontic issues once the face and jaws are no longer growing. 

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

There are numerous benefits to orthodontic care, including: 

  • Achieve a Healthier Bite. With the teeth and jaws aligned, you will improve biting, chewing, and speaking function. 
  • Improved Oral Health. Straight teeth are easier to clean around. This helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. 
  • Confidence Boost. Some people hide their mouth around others or avoid having their pictures taken. With a straight smile, you can feel proud of your teeth and enjoy laughing, eating, and speaking around others.
  • Care for All Ages. Children, teens, and adults can undergo orthodontic treatment. There is no age limit for a beautiful, healthy smile!

Types of Orthodontic Services for Children

At Braces Omaha, we offer many treatment options for kids with a variety of dental needs. During the consultation, we will evaluate your child’s mouth and develop a treatment plan. The right treatment for your child will depend on the severity of the issue and the child’s face and jaw development. Types of orthodontic treatments for kids includes: 

  • Traditional Braces

    • These braces are made of stainless steel and are often the more affordable option. Brackets are glued to the teeth and connected with an archwire. The rubber bands that hold the wire in place come in many colors, so your child can pick their favorite. 
  • WildSmiles Braces®

    • Invented by our very own Dr. Stevens, WildSmiles allows your child to have fun while wearing braces. Kids can pick from a wide selection of bracket shapes, including styles from our signature, Disney, and college collections. WildSmiles functions just like traditional braces and gives your child the freedom to express themselves through orthodontics.  
  • Ceramic Braces

    • Ceramic braces work similarly to traditional braces except they are made of clear materials instead of metal. These are ideal for patients who need braces but don’t want them to be as visible. 
  • Lingual Braces

    • Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth, making them much less visible than traditional braces. Because of their positions, they require extra care to keep them clean. These braces are a great choice for kids self-conscious about wearing traditional braces.
  • Invisalign®

    • Invisalign straightens teeth using a series of clear aligners. When children between the ages of 6 and 10 start orthodontic treatment, this is known as Phase 1 treatment. Invisalign First clear aligners are great for kids at this age with dental crowding, spacing issues, or narrow dental arches. The aligners are removable, so the child can brush and floss normally without brackets or wires. Invisalign can also deter oral habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. 
  • Palatal Expander

    • A palatal expander widens the palate when it is too narrow. This provides enough room for all of the teeth. Children with narrow palates typically receive a palatal expander around age 7 or 8, when the face is quickly developing. 

Orthodontist for Kids in Omaha, NE

If your child is 7 years old and has not yet seen an orthodontist, or if your child has been referred by a dentist at any age, we invite you to contact Braces Omaha for a free consultation. Our board-certified orthodontist Dr. Stevens will create a treatment plan that’s unique to your child to produce healthy and beautiful results!

Frequently Asked Questions: Orthodontics for Children

What is an orthodontist for kids called?

An orthodontist for kids is still called an orthodontist. A general dentist who specializes in treating children is called a pediatric dentist, kids dentist, or pedodontist. 

At what age is it too late to get braces?

It’s never too late to get braces! While the ideal age for braces is during childhood and teenage years, adults of any age can get braces. Many adults get braces later in life because they desire a straighter, healthier, and more confident smile. 

Does insurance cover braces for children?

Most health insurance plans cover some portion of orthodontic treatment for children under the age of 18. Every plan is different, and you can find out how much of your child’s orthodontic care is covered by contacting your insurance provider directly. If your plan doesn’t cover orthodontics, you can purchase supplemental orthodontic insurance from a variety of other insurance providers. 

How do braces close gaps in teeth?

Braces work by putting gentle force on teeth to move them. There are brackets glued to each tooth, connected with a wire. When the wire is tightened, the brackets move. This closes gaps and straightens all of the teeth within the dental arch.

A Happier Smile Starts Here

We’re a family-friendly practice that provides optimal orthodontic care in a comfortable, approachable setting. To learn more about your treatment options for yourself or your child, we encourage you to contact Braces Omaha to schedule a complimentary consultation.