Orthodontics is the dental branch specialized in correcting malformations in the teeth. Several recent studies have concluded that at least 50% of children should wear an orthodontic appliance. The cases when the orthodontist recommends such appliances for children are those in which the teeth are crooked, rare or crowded. Beyond their aesthetic purpose, much is discussed about their medical necessity too, because the dental problems listed above may cause stomach problems, speaking difficulties and caries.
Dental malpositions are an undesirable result of wrong child habits (thumb sucking etc.), inappropriate nutrition, the presence of large teeth on a smaller jaw or vice versa.
Usually, the dentist is the one who recommends a visit to the orthodontist, if he/ she believes it is necessary. Around the age of seven, the child may have the first encounter with an orthodontist, because at that age the definitive teeth are pulling out. During the consultation, the orthodontist observes whether the child’s definite teeth develop correctly, or dental equipment is in order to stimulate proper alignment and positioning.
Signs indicating that the child must wear a dental appliance
When asked, orthodontics Lakewood professionals say that children should be taken to the orthodontist if the parents notice, when the teeth begin to erupt, that they are crooked or tangled. However, incorrect alignment or positioning is not always visible; however, there are other worrying signs that can precede it:
- premature loss of milk teeth or, on the contrary, their delayed fall (this aspect can hide serious dental problems that require constant medical monitoring and early orthodontic measures)
- mouth breathing (due to abnormal disposition of the upper or lower teeth)
- thumb sucking (the child keeps sucking the thumb, although he/ she has overcome the age when they should have given up already)
- difficulty in biting and chewing food
- asymmetric facial expression
- frequent teeth grinding
- teeth clenching
- frequent cheek biting
The advantage of taking the child to the orthodontist at the right time and the early start of an orthodontic treatment helps achieving quicker results and saving money.
How can parents prepare their child for the first visit to the orthodontist?
- The most important thing is that parents do not project their own fears on the child, because the little one is very empathetic and will perceive these emotions. Besides, dentistry has been progressing very much over time, so the orthodontist has the all the necessary means to make the patients feel as comfortable as possible.
- It is recommended that the visit to the orthodontist be scheduled in the morning, when the child is rested and cooperative.
- The child should eat before meeting with the orthodontist, so that he is not hungry during the consultation, as this can make him/ her tense
- The child should her teeth before going to the orthodontist
- Going to the orthodontist should not be used as a threat or as a form of punishment
- An older brother or even the parent can be used to simulate an undergoing treatment, pointing out that it is painless and relaxing. The child will gain confidence and imitate the eldest.