Oral health is important for people of all ages, including children. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends taking your child to the Dentist approximately six months after their first tooth appears.
As for their first orthodontist appointment, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that you bring your child either when orthodontic problems become apparent or by the time they turn seven years old.
Many children need specialized dental work to ensure both oral health and a functioning but beautiful smile. Getting braces for kids in Charlottesville, VA, is a relatively hassle-free process that will greatly benefit your child in the future.
Signs that Early Intervention Is Necessary
As mentioned, the AAO recommends beginning orthodontic checkups at seven years old as this is the age when many kids begin to get their adult teeth. Their jaws have almost developed at this stage as well.
By beginning orthodontic work early, your child’s jaw and teeth can finish their development correctly. This helps ensure that as the adult teeth erupt, they are not overcrowded or preventing the proper development of the dental arch.
Since your child is already in the process of growing, treating their orthodontic problems is easier at a young age. Orthodontic treatment can also improve appearance, protect protruding teeth from damage, and establish good oral habits such as brushing and chewing correctly.
Some signs that your child may need orthodontic treatment include:
- Presence of a crossbite
- Presence of an underbite or overbite
- Overcrowding of the teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
Leaving these problems alone may result in costly future treatment. Children whose orthodontic problems are too severe may need oral surgery later in life due to the rigidity of the bones. It’s best to treat the problem while your child is growing.
What Should I Expect When My Child Begins Orthodontic Treatment?
The first step to beginning orthodontic treatment includes conducting a general checkup on your child’s oral health problems. Our orthodontist, Dr. Markus, examines your child’s smile, dental arch, and teeth. Our team also takes digital X-rays and then works on developing a customized treatment plan.
After the treatment plan is created, Dr. Markus will fully review the treatment options available to your child and answer any questions you may have about braces.
When you have agreed on a treatment plan, your child is then ready to get started with their braces treatment. Your child will need to attend regular checkups to adjust the tightness of their braces and monitor the movement of the teeth.
Finally, when your child’s teeth have shifted to the correct place, Dr. Markus then fits them with a retainer. Most retainers are removable and will need to be worn long-term to ensure that the teeth do not move back to their original position.
Life with Braces
Braces should not cause any significant disruptions to your child’s life. Your child can run, eat, and play as normal with only a few extra precautions to ensure their treatment stays on track.
One of the more notable changes your child will need to make is with what they eat. Children with braces should stay away from eating sticky or hard foods such as candy or raw veggies. These foods can cause wires to loosen or break, requiring an emergency orthodontic treatment. It is also important to brush and floss regularly to clear food from the brackets and maintain good oral health.
We do recommend that your child wear a mouthguard during sports to protect their braces and the soft tissue in their mouths.
When the orthodontist fits or tightens braces for kids in Charlottesville, VA, they may experience some soreness. This is a common problem and will subside as their mouth adjusts to treatment. To help with the discomfort, you may give your child over-the-counter pain medication and stick to soft foods for a couple of days so minimal pressure is applied to the teeth.
Treatment Options in Charlottesville, VA
Every child experiences a smile journey. Whether that is through natural development or an extra push from orthodontic care, your child’s smile will dramatically change throughout their life.
Getting your child proper orthodontic treatment is essential to ensuring their future oral health. Children who do not receive proper orthodontic treatment may experience problems later in life.
If you are looking for braces for kids in Charlottesville, VA, designed for your child’s comfort, Mill Creek Orthodontics can help. We also offer payment plans for our high-quality orthodontic care.