A smile is often considered the most important aspect of a person’s physical appearance, and a healthy smile is one that every parent wants for their child. However, not every child is blessed with a perfect set of teeth and may require orthodontic treatment to correct any dental problems. This blog post is here to explain children’s orthodontics, the different types of treatments available, and why they may be necessary for your child’s dental health.
1. What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a specialized branch of dentistry that involves straightening and aligning teeth to ensure perfect oral health. Orthodontic treatment includes the use of braces, wires, and other appliances to encourage the movement of teeth to their desired positions. Children usually receive orthodontic treatment around the age of 12 or 13 after their permanent teeth have erupted, and their jaw bone structure is almost fully developed.
2. Reasons for orthodontic treatment
Orthodontic treatment is necessary if your child’s teeth are crooked, crowded, or misaligned. Such problems can cause a host of dental health issues like difficulty chewing, biting, or speaking, increased risk of gum disease, or tooth decay, and even lowered self-esteem. The main reasons for orthodontic treatment in children include correcting irregular bites, improving speech function, and enhancing dental aesthetics.
3. Types of orthodontic treatment
The most common types of braces available for children include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners. Traditional metal braces use brackets and wires to move teeth into their desired positions, while ceramic braces are similar in design but use tooth-colored ceramic brackets that blend in with the teeth’s color. Lingual braces are fitted on the backside of the teeth, making them invisible from the front, and Invisalign uses clear, removable plastic trays that are custom-fit to the patient’s teeth.
4. The orthodontic process
The orthodontic process for children involves a few stages, starting with a consultation to discuss treatment options and determine the best course of action for your child’s specific dental needs. Once the type of braces is selected, the orthodontist will place them on the teeth and guide the movement of the teeth using gentle pressure. Regular checkups will be required to ensure that the treatment is progressing as planned, and adjustments may be made to the braces as required. Once orthodontic treatment is complete, your child may be required to wear a retainer to keep their teeth in their new positions.
5. Care and maintenance of orthodontic appliances
Proper oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment, and it’s essential to take care of the braces and aligners. Brushing and flossing regularly is a must, and it’s recommended to use special brushes that can clean around the braces. Patients should avoid eating hard or sticky foods that could potentially damage the braces or wires. Wearing a mouthguard during sports activities is also recommended to protect the braces and teeth from any damage.
Children’s orthodontics is a vital aspect of dental health that cannot be ignored. Not addressing orthodontic issues can lead to further complications, and it’s best to consult an experienced orthodontist for effective treatment. The treatment process might require some time and patience, but it’s all worth it in the end when your child has a beautiful, healthy smile, and enhanced confidence as well. Remember, preventive care is always better than corrective care, so schedule regular dental checkups to monitor your child’s dental health.
Contact Dr. April Lee at Burlingame Smile Studio we serve Burlingame, CA, Hillsborough, and Millbrae.