Your child’s gap-toothed smile or crooked grin may be adorable, but at what point do these types of dental issues need to be addressed? As baby teeth fall out, and adult teeth replace them, there are a variety of tooth alignment issues that can cause immediate problems as well as difficulties later down the road. Because of this, catching potential problems at an early age is one of the best ways to prevent larger issues. Braces are one of the leading orthodontic treatment options available, and they may be just what your child needs to develop a straight, healthy smile. Here are three fast facts about children’s dental health to get you started:
1. Children’s Braces Are Improving
When it comes to correcting a developing or existing tooth alignment issue, treatment options may include children’s braces. Previously use wires were not very flexible creating the need for frequent appointments. Today’s wires are very flexible and work longer to align the teeth and because f that the visits to the orthodontist need to happen only every six to eight weeks during treatment. This means less missed school or work, especially if the practice you choose has long afterschool hours. At Goldenberg Orthodontics, we further help to accommodate busy parents by scheduling the longest appointments during the day, leaving many more appointment times available during the early morning and after-school hours.
Also, there are many resources available to help you support your child’s dental health. For example, your orthodontist will advise you on which foods your child should avoid. You can also find countless websites and other online resources that provide ideas for brace-friendly treats and meals. Your orthodontist will teach you and your child how to clean the teeth and the braces after every meal.
2. Orthodontists are Highly Specialized
Dentists are a type of a doctor who focuses on dental health and care. Orthodontists, in turn, are dentists who specialize in treating tooth and jaw alignment issues. All of this specialization requires at least ten years of college and postgraduate education, including four years in dental school and two additional years studying orthodontics. Scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist will take the guesswork out of trying to identify your child’s bite issues.
3. Catch Problems with an Appointment at an Early Age
New parents are advised by countless books, websites, dental organization, and mothers-in-laws about how to help their child develop proper dental hygiene at the earliest age possible. This includes brushing and flossing for the child until he or she is about five or six and capable of properly brushing alone. Dental appointments are also advised as a way to check up on a child’s flossing and brushing routine and catch potential cavities before they become major problems.
However, most people probably have not heard that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you schedule a child’s first check-up exam with an orthodontist before the age of seven. This is because dentists help with tooth and gum health, but orthodontists further focus on tooth alignment and a child’s natural bite. Even at the young age of six or seven, your child will have enough adult teeth for the orthodontist to identify existing or potential problems.
To learn more about your child’s dental health or for more information on treating your child’s existing dental condition, schedule a free consultation with Goldenberg Orthodontics. We will work with you to determine the best course of orthodontic treatment. Contact us today by calling (512) 863-8580.