This year on National Tooth Fairy Day, we want you to know everything you can about your child’s oral health. It can be hard to know at what age your child should begin orthodontic treatment or when they should first see a dental specialist. As their teeth erupt, it’s important to know if they’re growing in correctly, if they are caring for their oral health, and if they will need specific treatments in the future. It’s a good idea to bring your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts to make sure you are on top of their oral health. Here’s everything you should know about your child’s first orthodontist visit.
When should my child begin orthodontic treatment?
There is no set age to begin orthodontic treatment, but their first visit should be centered around when they begin to lose their first teeth. It is important to note that your dentist can quickly detect oral concerns that you may never have noticed as a parent. In this sense, taking your child to the orthodontist as early as seven is recommended. Often, losing baby teeth can be associated with eruption disturbances of the permanent teeth that go unnoticed until your visit with an orthodontist.
Why might my child need orthodontic treatment?
Kids may need treatment for several different reasons including crooked teeth, overlapping teeth,overcrowded teeth, or a “bad bite” (known as malocclusion). These issues might result in treatment via either braces or Invisalign. Invisalign is becoming a much more popular option andis a great alternative to braces, especially for kids. There is a higher level of comfort and ease with the treatment, and treatment results in the same effectiveness. Your child can eat what they want, not worry about pokey brackets and wires, and have their teeth move more predictably andcomfortably. Invisalign First is specifically made for younger patients and is one of the best waysto fix oral alignment issues in children.
What will happen at my child’s initial appointment?
Your child’s first appointment will consist of a full series of x-rays and digital photographs so the orthodontist can fully examine your child’s oral situation. This is followed by a thorough clinical examination and explanation of findings. The goal of the appointment is not only to find any oral health concerns, but also to make you and your child feel comfortable and cared for.
What types of braces are there for children?
At Cooney Orthodontics, we offer a variety of options for children. Typically, different types of appliances may be necessary prior to or in conjunction with traditional braces or Invisalign. As technology has advanced, many times we will be suggesting Invisalign as the more predictable and comfortable option for your child. We are also the Capital Region’s only Top 1% Diamond Plus Invisalign Provider, so you know your child is in good hands.
What is Invisalign and how long will the treatment last for my child?
The Invisalign system consists of multiple sets of clear aligners that are custom made to fit your child’s mouth. Small, tooth-colored bumps called attachments are adhered to the teeth to allow the aligners to snap onto the teeth and guide the teeth into the correct positions. Specific movement is prescribed from your orthodontist. These aligners are changed on a regular basis to keep up with that movement. In terms of longevity of the treatment, it is hard to give a definitive answer since everyone’s dental situation is different. At your initial appointment, you will be given an estimated treatment time for your child’s specific situation.
Every child loves the excitement of losing their first tooth and waiting for the Tooth Fairy to come the next day. This National Tooth Fairy Day, encourage your child to become comfortable with the dentist and orthodontist. After all, choosing to visit the orthodontist early on can result in minimizing orthodontic issues and can maximize confidence in your child!