A Parents' Guide to Orthodontics

A Parents' Guide to Orthodontics

A Parents' Guide to Orthodontics

Have you noticed that your child is losing their baby teeth and that some of their adult teeth are coming in crooked? Or has your dentist mentioned that you should consider orthodontic treatment for your child?  

It is completely normal if you have a lot of questions and are not sure if treatment is the right path to take or not.  

Relax, we’ve got you covered!  

In this blog post, we will guide you through the orthodontic treatment process for your child. We will explain the signs you can look out for to know if your child may need treatment, the types of treatments you can consider, and more! 

At Shine Orthodontics, it is our priority that you feel empowered when making important decisions for your child or teenager. 


What is Orthodontic Treatment?  


Orthodontic treatment is a dental specialty that focuses on correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. This can be achieved through braces, aligners, retainers, and many other appliances to gradually shift the teeth into their proper positions. Orthodontic treatment can provide numerous benefits for your child.   

Treatment can improve their oral health by making it easier to clean their teeth and reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues. Additionally, properly aligned teeth can improve their bite and chewing functions, preventing potential jaw pain and discomfort. 

Furthermore, orthodontic treatment can also enhance your child's self-esteem and confidence by giving them a straight and attractive smile. This can have lasting effects on their social interactions and overall well-being. 

If you choose to pursue orthodontic treatment for your child, it can lead to improved oral health, better jaw function, and increased self-confidence.  

It is important to consult with your orthodontist to determine the best course of treatment for your child's specific needs. 


a person holding a pair of braces


How to Deal with Baby Teeth vs. Permanent Teeth 


Most children typically lose all their baby teeth by age 10 or 11. This is when their permanent teeth start coming in, and it can impact their orthodontic treatment because it is important for the permanent teeth to have enough space to come in properly. 

If your child's baby teeth are not lost promptly, or if the permanent teeth are coming in crooked or crowded, it may require orthodontic intervention to help guide the teeth into the correct positions. 

Some signs that your child may need orthodontic treatment include crowded or crooked teeth, early or late loss of baby teeth, difficulty biting or chewing, mouth breathing, thumb sucking, and difficulty speaking due to tooth obstruction of the tongue. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to consult with your dentist for an evaluation. 

When your dentist examines your child's teeth and bite relationship, they will typically look for any signs of misalignment, crowding, or other issues.  

They may also take X-rays to get a clearer picture of the positioning of the permanent teeth and the development of the jaw. This information will help the dentist determine if orthodontic treatment is necessary and what the best course of action may be. 


Types of Braces 


Each type of orthodontic treatment has its pros and cons. Therefore, when you consider the type of orthodontic treatment to pursue for your child, it is important to consult with your dentist to determine the best option based on their specific needs and preferences.  

There are several options available, made specifically with your child in mind.  

A few options to consider: 


1. Traditional Braces:  


Traditional braces, also known as metal braces, are commonly used for correcting tooth alignment. Traditional braces consist of small metal brackets that attach to the teeth and a long metal alloy wire that runs through each bracket, making them an effective method for correcting tooth alignment. 

Traditional braces are constructed from a durable metal alloy and are resistant to breaking or cracking when consuming orthodontist-approved foods or drinks.  

They are a viable option for correcting your child's tooth alignment, regardless of their current arrangement. For instance, they are used to correct underbites, overbites, or any other misalignment of the teeth. 

Traditional braces are fixed appliances that will be attached to your child’s teeth and are highly convenient. This will eliminate the potential for losing them, which is a risk associated with clear aligners. This factor is particularly helpful because many children are forgetful.  


2. Ceramic braces:  


Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, are considered one of the most aesthetically pleasing options among braces available on the market today. 

The translucent brackets or braces would be attached to the surface of your child’s teeth, along with similarly colored wires and rubber bands.  

They are a popular choice for older teenagers who are conscious of the appearance of traditional braces. 

The main distinction between ceramic braces and traditional braces is that ceramic braces are designed to be less noticeable and blend in with your child’s teeth. 

Ceramic braces are often unnoticed due to their use of tooth-colored or clear brackets. 

This kind of orthodontic treatment utilizes brackets and a metal alloy wire, offering the same reliable technology as traditional braces, but with a more subtle appearance and increased comfort.  


3. Clear aligners:  


These are a popular alternative to traditional braces, as they are clear, removable, and custom-made for each patient. They are a great option for those who want a more discreet way to straighten their teeth. 

Invisalign is a brand of clear aligners that is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move the teeth into the desired position. 

One of the main benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are virtually invisible. 

In addition, the aligners are removable, making it easier for your child to maintain good oral hygiene and continue enjoying their favorite foods without restrictions. 

If you want to learn more about clear aligners, click here!  


Understanding the Process of Orthodontic Treatment 


Orthodontic treatment usually lasts between 18 and 24 months (2 years), depending on the severity of your child’s case and the type of treatment needed. 

The first step is to have X-rays and a clinical exam by an orthodontist (taken of your teeth to create dental records and to help the orthodontist analyze your bite and tooth alignment. 

Once the treatment plan is created, you will have monthly appointments to have your braces adjusted or to receive new aligners if you are using clear aligner therapy. 

During these appointments, your orthodontist will monitor the progress of your treatment and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your teeth are moving into the correct position. 

Throughout the treatment process, it is important for your child to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing their teeth regularly, as well as avoiding sticky and hard foods that could damage their braces or aligners. 

As the treatment progresses, you and your child will begin to see visible improvements in the alignment of their teeth and bite.  

Once the treatment is complete, your child will need to wear a retainer to maintain the results.  

Overall, the process of orthodontic treatment is a journey to achieving a healthy, straight smile. 


How Shine Orthodontics Can Help You 


We realize that understanding the orthodontic treatment process can be confusing.  

At Shine Orthodontics, we make the process simple and seamless by offering specific solutions for your child.  

Our team offers the best treatment options and the dedicated care you need from start to finish. Dr. Mike and Dr. Ellen are here to listen to your oral health needs and design a custom solution to help you discover how you can live your life shining!  

Click here to learn more about oral health treatment from Shine Orthodontics in Lebanon, Maineville, and Chillicothe!  

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