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    Children and Orthodontics

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    Do braces hurt?

    "Hurt" may be too strong of a word. But your child may have some discomfort when braces are first put on, when they are adjusted, or when you start using a new appliance, such as rubber bands or a headgear.

    Any pain or discomfort can be relieved by taking ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Also, if the wire, brackets, or bands irritate your child's mouth, your orthodontist can provide special wax to cover the sharp areas on the braces.

    Is it possible to be allergic to braces?

    Yes. Some people are allergic to stainless steel. When this happens, other materials can be used instead. People can also be allergic to the latex gloves used by the orthodontist and the assistants. If your child has a latex allergy, tell your dentist so that non-latex gloves can be used.

    Braces can sometimes irritate a child's gums, causing this to swell. This is not an allergic reaction, but something parents still need to watch for.

    What foods are off-limits for kids who wear braces?

    Braces are delicate. Breaking part of the appliance can result in the teeth moving in the wrong direction and in longer treatment. Anything that is hard, sticky, or chewy should not be eaten, including:

    • Ice
    • Nuts
    • Popcorn
    • Hard candy
    • Chewing gum
    • Chewy candy, like caramel
    • Gummies

     

    How long does my child need to wear braces?

    The length of treatment varies. It depends on the problem, how well your child cooperates, and your child's growth. Typically, most people wear braces from 18 to 36 months.

    How long does my child need to wear a retainer?

    Ideally, your child should wear a retainer forever, even if it is only one night a week. Of course, this may not be practical. The teeth are like the rest of the body and the body changes. Once your child stops wearing the retainer, slight changes to the teeth should be expected.

    On average, how much do braces cost?

    The cost varies depending on the extent of work being done, the type of braces being used, and where you live. But you should expect to pay between $2,000 and $8,000.

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    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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