As a parent, you of course want to do the best you can in caring for your children, so that they arrive at adulthood prepared for happy, productive lives.
Parents often have questions about child dental care. When should you first take the child to the dentist? If the child’s teeth need straightening, when should they see an orthodontist? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you keep your kids’ teeth healthy for life.
There are some differing views on when you should first take a child to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says children should see a dentist not later than their first birthday, while the American Academy of Pediatrics says the first visit to the dentist should be by around their third birthday.
By age 7, most children have a mix of baby and adult teeth. Children may experience problems such as dental crowding, too much space between their teeth, protruding teeth, extra or missing teeth or jaw growth problems.
Dentists trained in orthodontics are trained to spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth, even while the child still some baby teeth. The advantage of early detection of orthodontic problems is that they may be easier to treat if treatment is started early.
While your child’s teeth may appear straight to you, there could be problems that only a dentist could detect. The check-up could also find that your child’s teeth are fine, which would be great news.
Even if a problem is detected, chances are the dentist trained in orthodontics will take a “wait-and-see” approach at first, checking your child from time to time as all the adult teeth come in. For each patient who needs treatment, there is an ideal time for it to begin in order to achieve the best results. As dentists trained in orthodontics we have the expertise to determine when this ideal treatment time would be. Our goal is to provide your child with the most appropriate treatment at the best time.
In most cases, we might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment. This may prevent more serious problems from developing, and may make treatment at a later age shorter and simpler and less expensive. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.
But orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth can be done at any time, for teenagers or even adults. It’s never too late to straighten your teeth, giving you more confidence in your smile.
Most people associate teeth straightening with braces, and these are commonly used. But another attractive and effortless option exists today. Invisalign is a series of removable, clear aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use to promote an invisible way of straightening teeth without braces.
An Invisalign treatment consists of a series of aligners that you switch out about every two weeks. Each aligner is individually manufactured with exact calculations to gradually shift your teeth into place. And since your Invisalign system is custom-made for your teeth and your teeth only, with a plan devised by you and your dentist, you know you’ll end up with a smile that truly fits.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you.