Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

Protecting Your Child's Teeth

by Lonnie Bryant

Poor dental hygiene in young children can result in a wide variety of treatments being required. Letting plaque and tartar build up can not only cause bad breath and staining which is detrimental to their confidence, but also can lead to gum disease and the need for operations such as root canals. In 2015, 50% of 12-year-old children had some form of degenerative tooth condition, affecting one of their permanent teeth according to Australian Government statistics. Getting younger children into the habit of brushing is not just essential for protecting their teeth whilst they grow, but also ensures that they continue to practice good oral care throughout their adult life too.

Helping your child to brush their teeth should be part of your own routine. It allows you to question them to make sure they aren't suffering from toothache or haven't accidentally chipped a tooth whilst playing. Chipped teeth should be monitored, because they provide the perfect place for food debris and bacteria to build up. If a tooth becomes cracked as a result on an impact, it could open up a crevice large and deep enough for bacteria to penetrate the enamel causing inflammation and infection. This in turn, if not treated properly can result in quick tooth decay and potentially the need for a root canal. 

Root canals are an operation within a branch of dentistry performed by dentists but more commonly by an endodontist, and can cost up to and over $1000 AUS. Endodontics is a branch of dentistry that practices the cleaning out of inner infected teeth by drilling through the enamel. They then remove any infected material, shape the inside of the tooth and fill it with a compound that hardens like the rest of the tooth, and maintains the strength of the remaining natural enamel. Impact injuries are not the only reason that root canals may be required; dental abscesses which, are a build up of puss in the bone, gum or tooth, are also caused by bacterial infection, but also regular poor quality dental work can cause problems too. 

To reduce the chance of tooth decay and other issues that may require dental assistance there are a few things to you can do. Firstly try to conform to brushing their teeth twice a day and supplementing with an alcohol-free, child-friendly mouthwash. Also don't be afraid to brush after they eat high sugar foods such as sweets, and the sugar can encourage a build up of plaque. With toddlers it's vital that before bed they don't drink fruit juice or milk, as both of these are high in the sugars fructose and lactose, which can cause tooth erosion overnight much like a can of fizzy pop. Contact a dentist for more advice.


About Me

Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.