Kids Dental Blog Rancho Cucamonga CA

Orthodontics: What you and your child should know!

Children Orthodontics

1. Is Ortho always necessary?

Although, many believe the reasoning behind considering orthodontic treatment is solely based on physical appearance, it has much more to do with self-esteem, overall health and comfort. The way you feel about how you look also plays a major role in your quality of life. Over time, it may become a larger issue than it once was in your childhood and can cause you to feel the need to hide your smile and cover your mouth while talking or laughing. As patients see their appearance changing, they typically show a progression in confidence even before treatment is completed. It is very important to not only instill healthy oral hygiene habits in your children but to also consider their comfort, confidence and well-being involved with their teeth. Orthodontic treatment can help properly straighten teeth but also fix a multitude of problems such as a deep bite (upper front teeth almost completely overlap lower front teeth), under bite (lower teeth and jaw protrude in front of upper teeth) and over jet (horizontal, front to back overlap of front teeth while biting) that can cause discomfort and lead to greater issues like Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ).

2. How old does my child have to be to begin Ortho treatment?

Orthodontics goes far beyond just braces, in children ortho is considered interceptive orthodontics. Intervention can begin as young as 6 or 7 years old. At this age teeth are still developing, and the jaw is still forming, typically your child’s dentist can see crowding or other conditions starting to form, these issues are far easier to address early on. Before permanent teeth come in, it is easier to position the teeth in a better area where crowding will not occur. Before, teeth were usually pulled to avoid crowding and create space. Now, braces are used to properly align your child’s teeth.

3. Is my child’s diet restricted because of braces?

The dreaded topic of what your child can and cannot eat. Offices that offer Orthodontic treatment will usually provide their patients a list of what NOT to eat, which leaves you guessing what your child can eat? According to the American Dental Association (ADA) you can prepare foods that your child is not allowed to eat in a way that makes it safe and braces-friendly. For example, hard fruits are usually off limits, but you can slice them into smaller pieces to make it easier on braces. But there are some foods that should always be avoided, those include: popcorn kernels, nut, tortilla chips, gum, taffy, caramels, corn on the cob and try to stick to options that are lower in sugar.

4. How will my child’s oral hygiene routine change?

Brushing and flossing can drastically change once your child has their braces on. It becomes more time consuming, but it is as important as ever to make sure your child is keeping up their oral hygiene. It can take years to straighten teeth with braces and it is important to keep in mind that any damage to brackets or wires can increase the duration and cost of treatment. It may take some time to adjust to brushing with braces, but practice makes perfect! Flossing will take a little more time, it will require a threader to get in between the teeth, wires and brackets. After flossing is completed it is recommended that a mouth wash is used just to kill any additional bacteria left on the surface and in between teeth.

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