Dr Derek Coetzee, a qualified dental surgeon, practising orthodontics for 25 years provides braces for kids from 9 years of age. It can help to learn more about orthodontic braces, which straighten your teeth and help give you a beautiful smile

How Braces Work
Braces straighten teeth by putting steady pressure on your teeth and by staying in place for a specified amount of time. Most kids just need regular braces with wires and rubber bands doing their jobs to keep pressure on the teeth. The wires on your braces help to move your teeth, and the rubber bands help to correct the alignment, which is the way your teeth line up.

If your teeth need a little extra help, you may have to wear head- or neckgear with wires attached to your teeth. If you do have to wear headgear, you will only have to wear it while you sleep or when you’re at home in the evening.

Everyone has to wear braces for different lengths of time, but most people usually wear braces for about 2 years. You’ll want to take special care of your teeth after the braces come off. You may need to wear a retainer, which is a small, hard piece of plastic with metal wires or a thin piece of plastic shaped like a mouthguard. Retainers make sure your teeth don’t go wandering back to their original places.

Why Kids Need Braces
Lots of kids don’t have perfectly straight teeth, so don’t worry if yours aren’t straight. Take a look at most of your classmates. Many of them probably don’t have straight teeth either. Sometimes teeth just grow in uneven fashion.

Your teeth might be crooked, or your upper and lower jaws might not be the same size. If your upper jaw is bigger than your lower jaw, that’s called an overbite. If your lower jaw is bigger than your upper jaw, you have an underbite.

Either way this mismatch is called malocclusion, a word that is derived from Latin and means “bad bite.” Malocclusion is just a word that dentists use to describe the shape of your mouth. If you do have a malocclusion, you will need to wear orthodontic braces to fix this.

Types of Orthodontic Braces
There are basically three different types of braces:

1. traditional metal braces, but are much less noticeable these days due to their smaller size.
2. clear or tooth coloured braces.
3. clear tray-like treatment systems.

The wires that are used in braces today are also smaller and better than they used to be, and they are made of a space-age material that straightens your teeth faster and easier. The rubber bands that are used to tighten the braces are available in a kaleidoscope of bright colours now, too.

Braces act like magnets for food, so you need to keep your teeth especially clean while you have them on. You’ll want to brush after meals and be extra careful to get out any food that gets stuck in your braces.

You won’t have to go on any special diet when you have braces, but you’ll have to avoid certain foods that can cause problems for braces. Stay away from popcorn, hard and sticky sweets, toffee and especially chewing gum. Fizzy drinks and fruit juices can also cause a problem too, because their sugar content and acidity can cause tooth staining and decay.

As braces put pressure on your teeth, you might feel uncomfortable once in a while, especially after they have been adjusted. If you have pain, a pain reliever like Paracetamol or ibuprofen will bring relief.

So braces can be inconvenient, but lots of kids have them and they are definitely worth the trouble. When will you know for sure? On the day your braces are removed and you can see your new and improved smile.

If you require orthodontic treatment or braces simply contact Dr Derek Coetzee by completing the contact us form.