Did you know that we recommend an initial visit for kids as young as age seven? When we can examine a smile that has a mix of permanent teeth and baby teeth, we can gauge the risk of misalignment and even offer care to help guide the growth of the smile. In today’s blog, your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist is talking about children’s orthodontics.
The Impact of Poor Alignment on Little Smiles
Misalignment in childhood can occur for a number of different reasons. For example, issues with the size and shape of the jaw and oral structures could influence how your teeth erupt. Losing baby teeth prematurely could prevent permanent teeth from being guided into place properly. Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting in very early childhood could also be factors. Unless treated, misalignment makes cleaning the teeth with a toothbrush and floss difficult, so even kids who practice good oral hygiene can have a higher risk of tooth decay and infection. In addition, misalignment could impact bite balance, leading to issues like TMJ disorder and bruxism (chronic teeth grinding).
The Phased Approach
Phased orthodontics, or interceptive orthodontics, are designed to assist your child. Since their mouths are still growing and changing, and the process of losing baby teeth and gaining permanent ones is still happening, children may need care that actually guides this process, limiting the severity of poor alignment with time. Examples of phased orthodontics include teeth spacers and retainers. The retainers will be created based on detailed digital impressions we gather, ensuring treatment with accuracy and precision.
Continuing Care in the Teen Years
Once your little one reaches the teen years, the smile is ready to begin the final bit of treatment to secure the teeth into optimal positions. We may two main options available. For those who need braces, we can limit their visibility using ceramic brackets instead of metal ones, as ceramic can be tinted to blend with the smile. We can also correct uneven teeth with a series of clear Invisalign® aligners. The options we suggest will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of misalignment. But the whole process starts with that initial consultation, in which we carefully examine the smile to see if treatment is necessary. Scheduling a visit now means a chance to start the process before the year ends, and to see any dental insurance benefits or health savings funds you may have before they expire at the end of December.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILDREN’S ORTHODONTICS?
We know that addressing misalignment in the early years could limit how much care is needed in the teen and adult years. To learn more about treatment options for kids and teens alike, then please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in Springtown, Rome, and all surrounding communities.