Ah, childhood. Wasn’t everything better then? We could run, trip over, ride a bike, play sports, watch a movie, eat whatever we wanted, and we wouldn’t wake up the following morning wishing we didn’t need 3 cups of coffee to get from our houses to our jobs.
Children do enjoy many advantages over adults; they just don’t know it. One such advantage is how efficient orthodontic treatment can be at a younger age. There are two schools of thought surrounding this subject. Still, if your orthodontist suggests braces for kids, there is sufficient evidence and reasons to believe that early treatment will significantly benefit the patient.
Providing your child with the appropriate professional support to ensure proper dental development is always the right choice. We’ll go over some reasons why orthodontic specialists support early treatments for some patients and what you can do to give your child the best care there is.
When Should a Child Get An Orthodontic Evaluation?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), children should consult with an orthodontist by age 7. Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean they have to get their first set of dental braces then. Instead, these early interventions allow a specialist to review your child’s case and prepare treatment whenever it becomes necessary.
If there are cases of orthodontic complications in your family, you should consider taking your child to an orthodontist from an early age.
This 1998 study estimated that only 35% of all US adults had a well-aligned smile; clearly, there is a widespread need for orthodontic treatment, and being as efficient as possible can help your child a lot.
Your child’s orthodontic treatment with braces or other appliances may not start until their early teens. The idea is to focus efforts on guiding their permanent teeth to the correct position, and we cannot do that until most of their primary teeth have fallen off.
You should also keep in mind that their orthodontic care may not involve traditional braces at first. We will always try to avoid extracting healthy teeth. Still, there are methods we can use to prevent tooth overcrowding.
To allow your child’s permanent teeth sufficient space to erupt, we can use palatal expanders or space maintainers.
What You Should Keep in Mind If Your Kid Starts Early Orthodontic Treatment
The goal behind the two-phase treatment is to guide your child’s dental development and shorten the overall length of treatment they would’ve required had they only gotten braces in their late teens.
We want to make sure that your kid’s dental health is as optimal as possible, but this also means some additional considerations.
Wearing braces will help your child’s dental health in the long run, but you must help them maintain good dental hygiene.
There are multiple factors at play here. For instance, patients wearing traditional metal braces won’t see too many bacteria clinging to the surface of their stainless steel brackets. Still, there is an increased risk of food particles lodging around the brackets and adhering to the bands holding the archwire in place.
These particles become an issue as they feed more and more bacteria resulting in tartar, plaque, and eventually, decay.
Some bacteria can even multiply on the brackets themselves. Consider this study here showing that a type of bacteria could adhere to ceramic braces more easily than traditional braces.
All this said, if you want to help your kid avoid tooth decay and gum disease, you have to help them with their dental hygiene. Part of the struggle to get a beautiful smile includes teaching your child about proper brushing and dental flossing techniques.
Remind your kid to use the proper toothbrush, use fluoride toothpaste to reinforce each tooth, and go over each bracket to remove food particles above and below each bracket successfully.
Make sure to help them remove additional ligatures, and be careful not to dislodge the wires to avoid bruising the inside of your child’s cheeks.
Teamwork With Your Child’s Orthodontist for a Great Smile
So yes, your kid will have a professional team behind them to provide the best orthodontic care possible from a young age. We will do everything we can to guide their dental development.
Initially, this will mean supervising the change from baby teeth to permanent ones, ensuring there is enough space for each tooth to erupt, and preventing misaligned teeth. Later on, your kid will begin work with their dental braces. You can choose the type you’ll use, like metal ones or ceramic braces, maybe even clear aligners.
Throughout the treatment, you will have to supervise their hygiene habits to make sure that their dental health is as optimal as possible. Teach them to clean their dental braces to get all the benefits from this hard work.
Finally, when the time comes to remove their dental braces, they will enjoy a healthy smile with straight teeth and no additional problems threatening their dental health.
Take the time now to plan the best approach with an orthodontist. Early orthodontic treatment can help you and your child save precious time and provide them with numerous benefits such as excellent dental health.