Early Orthodontics Could Mean Less Work Later
Typically, permanent teeth begin to erupt around the age of six or seven. For this reason, the American Association of Orthodontics suggests that all children receive an orthodontic screening by at least age seven.
Any orthodontic issues or skeletal discrepancies usually become apparent around this age. Treatment can begin even if you child has not yet lost all of his or her primary (baby) teeth. The goal is to prevent further problems from developing.
This is the perfect time to consult with Righellis Orthodontics to have your child evaluated for orthodontic treatment. We may suggest you hold off on treatment for a few years or we may recommend beginning treatment right away.
There are many benefits to early orthodontic intervention.
Studies have shown that early intervention can encourage teeth to erupt in more favorable positions.
This can ultimately reduce overcrowding issues and simplify the process of straightening the teeth in the future. It’s advantageous to your child and to your budget to correct problems while the jawbones are still growing.
This may make treatment times shorter and less complicated if some of the procedures need to wait until your child is older.
It is important to remember that there will always be a chance that your child will still need braces when they are older. Early intervention doesn’t guarantee that all of your children’s orthodontic issues will be solved during that time. However, it can mean a shorter time in braces overall.
The Stigma of Braces is a Thing of the Past
These days you may find your kids asking to get braces. How times have changed!
Young people are seeing teens walking the runway or on magazine covers sporting a mouth full of braces. Among the tween and teenage groups, braces have gone from a stigma to a status symbol.
The number of children in the United States, age 17 and younger who are receiving orthodontic treatment has nearly doubled in the past two decades.
And as technology has changed so has the size and appearance of braces. They are now much smaller and nicer looking. Plus, kids and adults can use different colored elastics to appeal to their mood, style, a holiday, or school colors.
Pain and Discomfort
New technological advancements have greatly improved the comfort level of braces.
The best way to describe what your child may feel is not necessarily pain, but discomfort.
Once braces have adhered to the teeth, the wires are adjusted to create a gentle force to slowly push the teeth into their desired position. Or if a new appliance is introduced, such as elastics or headgear, it will take a few days for your child to adjust to some soreness in the teeth. Any pain or discomfort can easily be controlled with ibuprofen.
Allergies and Your Child
Some people are allergic to stainless steel. If this is the case for your child, we have other materials we can use with similar results. Dr. Righellis and his team use latex gloves as well. If you or your child has a latex allergy, please let us know right away so we can switch to non-latex gloves.
There are certain foods that can easily damage the delicate parts of braces. If the appliance breaks, the teeth can move in the wrong direction and will require more time to treat. We recommend that any food that is hard, sticky, or chewy should not be eaten. Some of those foods include:
- Hard candy
- Nuts and seeds
- Beef jerky
- Chewing gun
- Gummy candy
- Soft caramel
- Pizza crust
Length of Treatment
The length of treatment is determined by Dr. Righellis based on a personalized review of your child’s orthodontic needs.
It will also depend upon the severity of the problems, how well your child cooperates, and how quickly your child is growing. Typically, the average time in braces is anywhere from 12 to 36 months.
Treatment After Braces
Clear overlay retainers (C.O.R.) should be worn forever once braces are removed. This may not be practical for your child but the C.O.R. should be worn every night through bedtime. Once your child stops wearing it, the teeth can begin moving again and soon the C.O.R. may no longer fit.
Schedule a Consultation Today
The decision to begin orthodontic treatment may not be easy but Dr. Righellis and his Oakland, CA team are here to guide you through every step towards improving your child’s self-esteem and creating a beautiful smile!
Call our office today at 510-482-0060 to schedule your consultation.