bracesBraces, they are a rite of passage to some kids, meaning their teen years aren’t too far ahead or they are teens and their appearance means everything. While some kids want braces, others would rather skip the hassle with misguided ideas. They may even worry about how they will feel or what they will look like with braces. As a parent, you need to know all you can about braces and orthodontic care so you can fully express why braces are so important.

Why Do Kids Require Orthodontic Care Services?

There are quite a few reasons why kids may require braces that include overcrowded, overlapping, or crooked teeth. Perhaps they have a bad bite, also referred to as a malocclusion. A malocclusion occurs when there is a difference in top and bottom jaw sizes which causes an underbite or overbite. Jaw and tooth problems can be a result of accidents, baby teeth being lost too soon, or habits such as thumb sucking. Many times, problems are inherited. If you or a family member needed orthodontic care, then chances are your kids will too.

When Is It Time to See an Orthodontist?

Your family dentist will notice problems first and should recommend that your child visits an orthodontic specialist. Only an orthodontist can decide whether your child needs braces and which type would be best for them. Top orthodontists recommend a first orthodontic check-up by the age of seven. That does not mean that your child needs immediate treatment, but it will help when it comes to spotting problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth.

It is important that your child receives early treatment so serious problems can be prevented from developing. Orthodontic treatment is integral in keeping your child healthy. Straight teeth are known to lower the risk of getting cavities as well as other oral infections since food won’t be caught in between crooked teeth. As a parent, all you need to do is schedule a consultation, follow through with an initial exam, learn more about orthodontic treatment options for your child, and choose a start date. The length of time braces will need to be worn is typically 2 years.

What to Expect During the First Orthodontic Visit

Kids may be anxious about their first visit to an orthodontist. You can soothe those fears by explaining what happens during an initial visit. First, their teeth, jaw, and mouth will be thoroughly examined. Your child will be asked to put their teeth together and bite down. The orthodontist will also ask questions about any issues with swallowing or chewing and whether they have a popping or clicking jaw. Digital imaging is used to better show the position of their teeth and whether they still have permanent teeth that need to come in. The first visit allows your orthodontist to use the information gathered to create a treatment plan that fully fits the care your child needs.

Innovative Orthodontic Care Is the Best

Over the years, orthodontics has changed to offer better care. When visiting with an orthodontist, ask about the types of braces they offer. The two most popular types are clear or metal braces. Metal braces that utilize the newest bracket systems and brackets can beautifully straighten your child’s teeth. Clear braces from Invisalign are also available too. Our orthodontist Dr. Ryan Nowlin in Tulsa, OK, will let you know which type of braces are a better fit for your child’s teeth.