Do you think your child needs orthodontic treatment at some point? The Parent’s Guide to Orthodontics will help you to understand how it works, from understanding early check-ups to post-treatment best practices.
Orthodontic treatment can be a vital part of your child’s oral health care. Teeth that work together make it possible to chew properly, and contribute to clear speech. Teeth that function well tend to have a good appearance. The beautiful smile that results from orthodontic treatment is also the sign of good oral health and sets the stage for overall well-being.
When should I take my child to an orthodontist?
By age 7, a child will have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, and the orthodontist will be able to recognize orthodontic problems (“malocclusions“) even in their earliest stages.
If your child is younger than 7, and you notice something that appears then it’s not necessary to wait until your child turns 7 or get a recommendation from your dentist to get the first check-up. If your child is 8 or older, it is late for a consultation with an orthodontist.
Will the checkup be uncomfortable for my child at first visit?
No. Your child will not experience discomfort during the visit.
What will I learn from the first visit?
Five essential questions are generally answered during the first exam:
- Is there any orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
- What are the options to correct the problem?
- Is there a possibility that the tooth will need to be removed?
- About how long is the recommended treatment expected to continue?
- How much will the recommended treatment cost?
Am I allowed to be present for the dental exam?
What if an orthodontic problem is found during this visit?
The orthodontist will discuss with you about when it will be most advantageous for your child to begin treatment and the type of treatment that is recommended. For some children, early intervention (while some baby teeth are present) may be in their best interests. Different people have different kinds of problems, so other children may get the greatest benefit from treatment by waiting until most or all of the permanent teeth are in. Everything depends upon the individual and what is best for them.
If the orthodontist suggests a “wait and see” approach, your child’s growth and development will be assessed periodically, and treatment can be timed to take advantage of predictable stages of growth.
What if my child has special needs?
When you take an appointment for the first visit, be sure to inform the person who makes your appointment if your child has special needs, and explain what the needs are. In Sabka dentist our dentist and staff can prepare for your child’s visit and make it as pleasant and comfortable for him/her as possible.
Will the orthodontist take x-rays?
A special x-ray called a “panoramic” x-ray may be taken at a first exam or may be postponed until closer to the time, that it is recommended when treatment begins.
Are x-rays really necessary?
Yes. In order for the orthodontist to be able to accurately diagnose your child’s orthodontic problem, x-rays are necessary. They reveal what could otherwise only be guessed.
Today’s x-ray machines require significantly less radiation to obtain an image, as compared to x-ray machines of a generation ago.
An accurate diagnosis allows your orthodontist to plan every step of your child’s treatment so that your child finishes treatment with a healthy bite – referring to the way upper and lower teeth meet and work together. Teeth with healthy bite are also straight, making for a beautiful smile.
Is there anything else I should expect at a first visit?
Yes. The dentist may take photographs of your child’s teeth and face. This can be a valuable document referred to in your next visits.
It is important for a parent to take care of their child’s teeth until he or she is able to take care of their own. After your kid wears braces it’s suggested to supervise their dental practice.