One of the first concerns many parents have about their children as they develop is about their child’s oral health. Dr. Ashley Reynolds of Crescent Orthodontics in Oakland County, MI is often asked questions regarding what signs to look out for to determine if a child may eventually need orthodontic attention and at what age a child should begin orthodontic treatment. No two cases are the identical, but Dr. Ashley Reynolds has some answers to the questions above regarding children’s orthodontics.
When is it Best to Begin Treatment?In many cases, orthodontic issues can be detected early in life. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children should have their first appointment with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. This is because:
- Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while baby teeth are still present, predicting and preventing possible issues which might arise in the future.
- Because orthodontists, such as Dr. Ashley Reynolds, specialize in identifying developing problems, they may be able to spot specific problems which a general dentist is not able to detect. These issues, such as crooked teeth, can be fixed with early orthodontic treatment however if not seen, they cause bigger issues in the future.
- If a child does not see an orthodontist by the age of 7 and there is a problem which is not treated, it may make treatment at a later age much more time consuming and complicated.
- In some cases, an orthodontist will be able to achieve results with children’s orthodontic appliances that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing, preventing orthodontic treatment later in life.
- Early treatment will give your orthodontist the chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips, and face
- Guide jaw growth
What are the Treatment Options?Once you, your child, and your orthodontist determine it is time to begin orthodontic treatment, new questions may arise regarding what treatment options are available. Dr. Ashley Reynolds offers a variety of treatment options such as:
- Traditional metal braces: Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding fun colored rubber bands for a more unique, personalized, and colorful smile.
- Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible than metal braces. However, they require more attention in regards to oral hygiene because they are larger and are more brittle than traditional metal braces. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
- Invisalign: Invisalign is a series of clear, plastic aligner trays that can be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Invisalign may be desirable because they are virtually invisible, easier to manage and care for, and very comfortable. However Invisalign is not for every patient. Unlike traditional metal braces or ceramic braces, Invisalign may be less effective in more severe cases or may take longer in some situations.