Your child’s bite is an important part of their dental and overall health. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive orthodontic evaluations and early intervention by age seven when the primary (baby) teeth are still present. A proper evaluation can determine if a child can benefit from orthodontic treatment and help to prevent future problems.
Call our Jacksonville, FL office today to begin your child’s orthodontic journey! Children with a straight smile have a better chance of having a healthy mouth for life!
The Power of Orthodontics
Orthodontics can correct a number of dental problems, including:
- Crowding or gaps in the teeth
- Misaligned teeth (malocclusion)
- Overbites or underbites
- Teeth that stick out (protrusion)
All of these misalignment issues can be treated with orthodontic appliances, such as braces.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
There are many benefits to getting early orthodontic treatment, including:
- Correction of dental problems while they are still mild
- Prevention of more serious problems down the road
- Improved appearance of the teeth and smile
- Easier and less expensive treatment in the long run
Children who receive early orthodontic treatment often have an easier time wearing braces and achieve better results.
Early Signs of Problems
Parents may begin to notice issues in their child’s mouth when they start to appear in their primary teeth, often around age five. However, some kids may not develop problems until their permanent teeth come in, around age twelve.
Common signs of orthodontic problems include:
- A misaligned bite
- Crooked or protruding teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting food
- Excessive tooth wear
- Gums that are pulled away from the teeth
If parents notice any of these signs, they should schedule an evaluation with our dental professionals.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces use wire and brackets to move teeth into the proper position. Brackets (small, custom-made pieces cemented onto the surface of each tooth) are first placed in order to hold wires in place. Elastic or nickel-titanium wires are attached to the brackets on the front of each tooth and adjusted as necessary.
Braces may also contain small rubber bands, called elastics, that snap over each bracket. The elastic brings the bracket closer to the wire to create pressure that moves teeth into alignment.
Your Child’s Journey With Braces
The doctor will examine your child’s teeth and discuss with you the plan for their braces. X-rays may be taken to make sure that there are no cavities or other problems before application of the metal brackets and wires. You should review all of the information given to you by the doctor and ask questions if anything is unclear.
Immediately after this visit, the application of the braces begins. They are first attached to the surface of the teeth. Ligatures (thin rubber bands) are then tied around the braces to hold them in place. After the braces have been applied, it will be important that all instructions are closely followed between appointments.
- Your child will need to brush the teeth around the braces thoroughly at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and carefully floss around each wire.
A typical orthodontic treatment plan lasts from 12 to 18 months, during which time the patient visits their orthodontist typically every four to six weeks. During these visits, retainers are fitted and adjustments are made to the braces.
If you have any questions about this process, please ask our dental care team before beginning treatment.
Building Perfect Smiles With Orthodontics
Our team members are committed to providing gentle, comfortable orthodontic care; all while working toward creating perfect smiles for our young patients. Our doctors and team members strongly believe in the advantages of starting treatment with braces early in order to prevent needs for surgery or more invasive treatments later on.
If you are considering orthodontic care for your child, our team at Smiling Kidds would be honored to serve you. We strive to provide exceptional care in a gentle, compassionate environment. Schedule an appointment for your child’s evaluation today and we will get them on the path to a straighter, healthier smile!