At Maidu Dental, we know that you parents want the best for your child; after all, your child is the most important person in your life, the reason that you get up every morning with a smile on your face. Parents, however, rarely notice any shortcomings in their children’s oral care routine and how important resources like early orthodontics can do for their kids.
Getting them to brush twice a day and floss once a day may seem like they are headed in the right direction. But a lot is happening at a level that only your orthodontist can see. Did you know that you can actually help your child avoid and reduce the amount of oral treatment they may need later on? With dental care for children in Auburn, you will be able to guarantee that your child’s smile is always as happy and healthy as can be.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, you should schedule your child’s first appointment with an orthodontist by age 7. Although most parents don’t even think of the orthodontist when it comes to taking care of their child’s teeth. It is very important that you do. If you wait long enough to actually see a problem, it might be too late, and there may be more extensive treatment plans that are necessary to address your kid’s dental issues.
By getting your child started in early orthodontic treatment, you may be saving them from years of embarrassing issues associated with their teeth and smile. Today we will take a closer look into early orthodontics and the benefits associated with early treatment. Let’s start with the basics.
What Is Orthodontics in Auburn?
According to Wikipedia, orthodontics is a dentistry specialty that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws and misaligned bite patterns. It may also address the modification of facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
To straighten misaligned teeth and bites, orthodontists use devices known as braces. Depending on the severity of the dental issue to be treated, your child’s orthodontist will craft a personalized treatment plan.
Now, as a parent, you might be wondering if there is any difference between orthodontics and early orthodontic treatment. In short, yes, there is a difference between the two. Understanding the difference may help you make the proper choices for your child’s orthodontic treatment.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment is also referred to as phase I of orthodontic treatment. Early orthodontics aims to help young children who still have some or all of their primary teeth, which may prevent improper growth and alignment of permanent teeth. The purpose of early dental care for children in Auburn is to allow your child’s orthodontist to catch any serious issues like malocclusions, crossbites, narrow jaws, or protruding teeth that could prevent normal development from progressing.
If you are unsure if your child will benefit from early orthodontics, the key is to schedule an appointment for them. Treatment will minimize their alignment and bite issues. Dr. Luminita Markham might suggest early orthodontic treatment if your child has:
- A crossbite, which can cause your child’s jaws to grow asymmetrically
- Crowding that prevents permanent teeth from coming in
- Protruding front teeth from early childhood habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
- Underbites or overbites resulting from jaw misalignment
- Dental trauma from falls, sports, or other accidents
What Early Orthodontics Looks Like for Kids
Usually, orthodontics for kids is a two-phase process and follows your child’s oral development. Whether or not your child will need phase 2 depends on their individual dental needs and what your child’s orthodontist finds. Let’s take a look at phase 1.
Stage 1 Orthodontic Treatment
Phase 1 is all about guiding your child’s teeth, jaw, and facial growth with an orthodontic appliance while your child is still growing. We could say that it does a lot of the heavy lifting to prevent and minimize serious orthodontic issues in the future. Depending on your kids’ dental issues, Phase 1 might involve braces, an orthodontic expander, specialized retainers, or space maintainers.
Like with any other medical treatment, early orthodontics comes with its very own pros and cons which you will need to consider with the help of your trusted orthodontist.
Early Orthodontic Treatment Pros and Cons
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s a list of early orthodontic pros and cons for you to consider before having your child start early orthodontics. The Maidu orthodontics team will be happy to go over these with you in more detail at the time of your appointment
- Will improve your child’s chewing, speaking, or breathing
- Will make room for emerging adult teeth
- Preserves space for teeth that will come down but haven’t erupted yet
- Creates facial symmetry
- Reduces the need for tooth removal, or surgery
- Lessens future orthodontic correction
- Improves self-esteem and confidence
- You and your child will have more appointments if two-phase treatment is necessary
- Kids aren’t always keen on the extra time and diligence needed for oral care
- Some orthodontic treatments, like braces or orthodontic expanders, will cause mild tenderness, though this goes away quickly as soon as kids get used to their appliance
The main benefit of early dental care for children in Auburn is that jawbones do not harden until children reach their late teens. Because children’s bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces are easier and often faster than they would be for adults. This benefit is also the main difference between undergoing orthodontic treatment as a child versus an adult.
If you ask us, we definitely recommend you help your child start early orthodontic treatment; at the end of the day, you will be doing your child a huge favor for their teenage years. In the case that your child requires phase 2 orthodontics, it will also be beneficial for them to start as soon as possible versus waiting to become an adult before using braces.
Adult Vs Child Orthodontics in Auburn
One of the key differences between adult braces and child braces is the amount of time it takes to shift teeth. Adults have fully developed teeth and jaws, so their bones are harder, and the tissue around the teeth has already settled. As a result, orthodontic treatment for adults takes longer.
While the methods and tools we use are the same, there are some distinct differences between treating adults and children with braces.
Younger patients often don’t have the same conditions as older patients. Some of these conditions include
- Insufficient bone density between roots
- Insufficient blood supply
- Bone loss
Adults can also have much harder bones because they have matured and are no longer growing. Causing treatment times to be longer when treating adults versus children.
Another advantage children have over adults is social perception. Wearing braces as an adult can be very different for adults than for children. Kids are almost expected to have braces at one point or another.
Even without using modern orthodontic appliances like Invisalign or clear ceramic braces, modern metal braces are smaller than they once were and are much less noticeable when compared to the adult versions available.
Looking to start your child with early orthodontics in Auburn? Our doctors are gentle, caring providers who offer top-notch dental care in a welcoming, safe environment. Contact us, and schedule an appointment for your child today! Remember, prevention is key. We look forward to seeing you and your child at our office.