Orthodontists provide a variety of procedures to straighten crooked teeth, repair poor bites, and properly align the jaws. Paediatric orthodontists specialize in correcting crooked teeth in children, using appliances such as braces or aligners to correct or prevent orthodontic issues.
Baby teeth begin to grow as early as six weeks during prenatal development, according to the California Association of Orthodontists. It is highly recommended that children see an orthodontist by the age of seven for an initial evaluation and, if necessary, preventive care.
Early diagnosis and treatment will rectify teeth alignment problems and prevent more serious problems from developing. Before the appointment, it is recommended to explain to your child the need for an appointment. If the orthodontist believes treatment is required, the earlier, the better. Early treatment may also mean less treatment time in the long run. Read on to learn what you can expect at your child’s first visit to the orthodontist.
What to Expect During the First Appointment
- During the appointment, the orthodontist will carry out an oral examination. During this, they check the teeth, mouth, and jaws of the child. This includes checking the bite and getting impressions done. Impressions are molds made of the upper and lower teeth. This mold helps the orthodontist decide on the best form of treatment to correct any irregularities if treatment is needed.
- X-rays and pictures are also generally taken at the first evaluation. X-rays show the position of the teeth as well as teeth that haven’t come through yet.
- If treatment is needed, the orthodontist will take you through the options available and advise on the best option for your child.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
Treatment may be required in cases of crowding, crooked bite, thumb sucking, and jaw irregularities. Some of the main treatment options include:
- Braces: There are different types including stainless steel, ceramic, self-litigating, and lingual braces.
- Invisalign: These are clear, removable aligners and their main advantage is they are not noticeable.
- Expanders: They are used to widen the upper jaw.
- Retainers: The final step in correcting crooked teeth. Retainers hold the teeth in place to ensure the change is permanent.
The orthodontist will advise on the treatment best suited for your child. This depends on age, how complex the issue is, and your budget. No matter the treatment type, children in orthodontic treatment will need to have their dental hygiene monitored to ensure treatment goes to plan and further issues don’t arise. To learn more about the first evaluation, or to schedule your child’s first appointment with our expert orthodontist, contact Silver Smiles, today!