An orthodontist is a professional who deals in fixing dental problems such as a misaligned jaw or crooked teeth using orthodontic appliances.
Types of Orthodontic Appliances
Braces are the main appliances used for rectifying misaligned bites and straightening teeth. Braces apply pressure on the jaws and teeth to reposition them. Braces come in different materials like:
- Stainless steel
Invisible trays are an alternative to braces suitable for patients with mild dental problems. They are clear, removable and custom-made trays that apply pressure to straighten crooked teeth without wires and braces.
Other Orthodontic Options
- TADs – Temporary anchorage devices refer to mini screws that are fixed temporarily on a person’s mouth to force the teeth to move.
- Rubber bands – Rubber bands are used for teeth that require a lot of force to move the jaws and teeth to the right position.
- Headgear – A headgear is attached to braces from behind the head and worn during the night while sleeping. Headgears are suited for conditions where extra force is required to move the jaws and teeth.
- Retainers – Retainers keep your teeth in place when the braces have been removed. Some retainers are fixed while others are removable. They can made of metal wires, clear plastic or rubber.
When Should Your Child Visit an Orthodontist?
According to the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists, children should be evaluated by an orthodontist at the age of 7 years. At this age, mild problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth can be detected. Many kids start treatment for subtle dental problems around the age of 9-14 years. Children should be treated for dental problems while they are still young to avoid more work and save time.
What is the Youngest Age a Child Can Get Braces?
The dental treatment provided to a child depends on their needs. For instance, a child with cleft palates will get a dental appliance even before their first teeth emerge. Some kids will get treatment even before they have lost all their teeth. Early treatment helps to prevent complicating mild problems and to provide a good environment for permanent teeth to grow.
How Long Should My Child Wear Braces?
Many children wear braces for 18-36 months. The duration of treatment will vary depending on your child’s growth and how they are coping with the treatment.
Do Braces Hurt?
A child will experience some discomfort when they start using braces or when they are adjusted. The orthodontist can prescribe medication if necessary. If the brackets or wire is uncomfortable for your child, your orthodontist might give you some wax for covering the sharp edges on the braces.
Can a Dentist Treat Your Child for an Orthodontic Treatment?
Dentists can deal with mild dental problems. However, for serious conditions, an orthodontist is the best person to go to. An orthodontist usually has more advanced orthodontic education that goes beyond dental school.
If you think your child may need braces, contact Ragan Orthodontics today. We offer a variety of orthodontic services to get that perfect smile and will be happy to provide an evaluation and customize a treatment plan.