Having an aesthetically pleasing smile is great for your self-esteem and quality of life, but it also improves your oral health. Read on to see what orthodontics can do for your children. You might learn a few things you didn't know!
Orthodontics is about More than Straight Teeth
Remember that Orthodontics is dentofacial orthopedics. It's easy to get stuck on the visual of your child simply having straight teeth, but orthodontists look beyond that. They're concerned about the movement and growth of the jaw. They use x-rays to examine tooth roots, checking for teeth that are overcrowded, impacted, and missing. Those are things that might hide behind a beautiful smile.
If your child has an underbite, overbite, crossbite, or crowding, they will have more than just aesthetic problems. Food residue and bacteria can form more easily under such conditions, leading to a buildup of plaque and tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment can prevent this.
Take your Child to their First Orthodontic Screening by Age 7
Dr. Victoria and Dr. Rodriguez often have parents bring their kids in for their first orthodontic screenings around ages 11 or 12, but she'd like them brought in even earlier, around age 7. Why? Most children experience their first molars coming in at age 7, and they complete their dental growth by age 12. So if your child comes in for early orthodontic intervention, we can track the growth of their permanent teeth more effectively and reduce the need to extract permanent teeth.
Braces aren't the Only Option
Public opinion holds that traditional metal braces are the go-to option for orthodontic work, but other options are also available. For those who don't like the appearance, feel, and limitations of brackets and wires, we offer alternatives like invisible lingual braces or Invisalign® clear aligners.
Lingual braces are located behind your teeth and aren't visible to onlookers. The Invisalign system has us make a digital model of your mouth, and then craft aligners to get your teeth into the desired positions. Invisalign patients receive a new set of aligners every two weeks, each of which moves your teeth closer to the final positions. If you choose Invisalign, you'll need to wear the aligners 22 hours a day, but you can remove them to eat, brush and floss. Invisalign is invisible to onlookers, making it a highly popular option.
Consult with Dr. Victoria or Dr. Rodriguez to see which options you qualify for.
Advancements in Dental Technology
Thanks to developments in dental and orthodontic science, our team of dentists has cutting edge dental technology. Panoramic x-rays, digital imaging, 3D cone beam imaging, CAD/CAM, intraoral cameras, and in-house prosthetic labs are not rare in dental offices these days.
One of the biggest issues in orthodontics today is patient compliance. In other words, orthodontists deal with a lot of patients of all ages who won't wear their removable clear aligners (let alone brushing and flossing). Invisalign clear aligners won't do their work unless the patient wears them 22 hours a day, so a patient who continually fails to reach that quota is compromising and prolonging their treatment (in addition to racking up treatment costs).
Fortunately, we can now address this problem thanks to aligners that have compliance indicators built-in. However, Dr. Victoria and Dr. Rodriguez prefers to use compliance as an example to help her underage patients understand the importance of cooperating with the orthodontic process, a process they might resist.
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For more information, please contact our office at 256-712-4080, or schedule an appointment today!