Does My Child Need to See an Orthodontist?

Girl holding model of human jaw with dental braces - Blackfoot orthodontics

With all of the information floating around these days, it can be difficult for parents to find the “right” information when looking for basic advice on subjects like, what our kids should be eating, what toys they should or should not be playing with, how many hours of screen time is too much, etc. Another common question parents ask, is when is the right time to take their child to an orthodontist? Generally speaking, most orthodontists and experts will agree that children should start seeing an orthodontist around the age, in which most of their baby teeth have fallen out, which is usually around the age of 7. However, you don’t have to wait until your child is 7 or for a dentist to recommend you to see an orthodontic specialist. Below, you will find more information on why kids may need braces, what to expect at the first orthodontist visit and various treatment options for orthodontics in Idaho Falls.

Why Children May Need Orthodontics in Idaho FallsIdaho Falls Orthodontics

Kids mouths are similar to their fingerprints-each one is unique! Children may need orthodontic work for a multitude of reasons which can be genetic or caused by bad habits like thumb sucking, losing baby teeth early, or an accident. These reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • Crooked Teeth
  • Overlapping or Overcrowding of Teeth
  • Malocclusion or “Bad Bite” – which is more commonly known as an overbite (larger upper jaw) or an under bite (larger lower jaw).
  • Cleft Palate

Most often, your family dentist will be the one who refers or recommends that your child sees an orthodontist. Children should start seeing a dentist regularly after the age of two. If you’ve taken your child or children to the same dentist over the years, chances are he or she may have seen the patterns both in the individual and family’s dental history in order to make an informed Idaho Falls orthodontic recommendation.

As mentioned above, there is no set age when a child needs to go see an orthodontist. Ages can range from infancy (usually only in the cases of cleft palates other major oral abnormalities) all the way up to adulthood. Although, many orthodontists agree that they are able to see issues such as bite problems or overcrowding around the age of seven, when all of the permanent teeth are starting to come in.

Even though, orthodontics in Idaho Falls can start as early as age six or seven, this doesn’t mean that your child will even need or get braces immediately. However, if early treatment is recommended by your orthodontist it may help to reduce problems in the future and help to build your child’s self esteem.

Among other things, at your initial consultation with the orthodontist of your choice, your orthodontist may simply look for any problem issues and suggest what the best course of action is for creating a healthy, straight and beautiful smile.

What To Expect At Your Child’s First Orthodontist Appointment

Just like the first dentist visit, the first orthodontist appointment your child will have is really more like a consultation. Upon arrival and after you have filled out the proper forms (which many Idaho Falls orthodontic clinics offer, like Randall Orthodontics) your orthodontist will examine your child’s mouth, including the teeth and jaw. In addition to the examination, your orthodontist may ask your child to perform certain exercises, such as biting down or swallowing, in order to see if there are any bite issues, clicking or popping of the jaw or problems like chewing and/or swallowing.

Then if further treatment or testing is required, your orthodontist may take x-rays to see the positioning of teeth and whether or not any more permanent teeth still need to come in. Sometimes a child’s teeth and bite my seem altogether perfect, but the permanent teeth are coming through in away that will causing overcrowding, crookedness, or issues with the bite. Similarly, your orthodontist in Idaho Falls, may wish to make a mold of your child’s teeth. The mold or impression is another way that can help your orthodontist determine which orthodontic treatment option will actualize the best results for your child’s smile.

What Type of Idaho Falls Orthodontic Treatments are Available For Children?Idaho Falls Orthodontics

In this day and age there are many orthodontic treatment options available for children. Below are just some of the general treatments, according to WebMD that are used by orthodontists today, that may be recommended as treatment for your child and/or children:

    • Braces – The most common form of Idaho Falls orthodontic treatment, braces are no longer the clunky, metal bulges that plagued the past. Braces work to align crooked, crowded or to correct bites by applying pressure to the teeth and jaws, thus moving the teeth to the desired position. In the past teeth were fully banded for braces, but now the brackets are directly bonded to each tooth and are made of materials like, ceramic, plastic, stainless steel, and a combination of materials. Braces can even be customized to showcase a child’s personality or interests.
    • Clear Trays – These invisible trays are used in place of regular braces and can be an option for people who need orthodontic treatment in Idaho Falls, but don’t want to wear braces. Using the same idea to re position teeth as braces, invisible or clear trays are generally more expensive than your “run-of-the-mill” braces.
  • Rubber Bands – Rubber bands or elastics are used to add extra “force” for children who wear braces in order to move the teeth into the right position. Along with braces, elastics come in many different colors, so your children can choose their favorites.
  • Headgear – Depending on the treatment plan your orthodontist has devised to ensure the best results, he or she make recommend your child use headgear. Headgear is an appliance that is attached to the braces and the back of the head for use when extra force is needed to re position the jaw and teeth. Headgear is usually recommended to only be worn at home or at night.
  • Retainers – Once braces have been removed, retainers will be used. Retainers can either be of the removable variety or bonded behind the teeth. Retainers are another Idaho Falls orthodontic treatment that can be customized (glow in the dark, pictures, different colors, etc) that is used to keep your teeth in place or allow your teeth and jaw time to “settle” into their new perfectly aligned positions.

If you believe that your child may need to see an orthodontist, contact Randall Orthodontics for a consultation. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have about your child’s oral health and whether or not orthodontic treatment is a viable option for them.

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