You’ve seen your child’s dentist, and the latest recommendation was, “It’s time to take your child to the orthodontist.” Knowing what to expect will help you prepare for the visit, and help you prep your child too. The braces for kids journey is an exciting one, and even though it may seem daunting at first (more to parents than kids), there is only good that comes out of it.
When to See an Orthodontist
The American Association of Orthodontists recommend that every child see an orthodontist by age 7. Some dentists may recommend their patients go to an orthodontist sooner, others may be told they don’t need to see an orthodontist just yet. It’s always a good idea to listen to your dentist’s recommendation to avoid unnecessary appointments. You can trust, though, that if your dentist is encouraging a consultation, you’re very likely in for a conversation about interceptive orthodontics.
The First Stage of Orthodontics
The goal of the first appointment with the orthodontist is to determine if treatment is needed. An examination and x-rays are typical. From there, the orthodontist will give a diagnosis and, if needed, recommend a treatment plan. For many kids, the braces journey begins with interceptive orthodontics.
A child can be as young as age 6 or 7 and be recommended for interceptive orthodontics. At this age, the jaw is still growing and teeth are still developing, which means certain conditions like crowding and overbites may be easier to address. An orthodontist can spot subtle jaw growth problems even when baby teeth are still present. If dental arches and jaws are not in the correct position, functional appliances can improve these problems and potentially even fix them.
The Excitement About Braces
Not all orthodontic problems qualify for early treatment, but in many cases early braces, retainers, expanders, or other appliances could be recommended. When kids get orthodontics at such an early age, it doesn’t mean they will avoid braces as they reach the teen years. The goal, however, is to minimize the complexity or length of orthodontic treatment needed during adolescence. Early intervention can help.
Many kids are actually very excited about getting braces today. The stigma isn’t there like it used to be. Part of this is because kids’ braces have improved from decades ago, and thanks to technology they have been more comfortable and attractive. While you may worry about your kid with braces as a parent, your independent young person is usually ready to fully embrace their orthodontic destiny.
Schedule Your Child’s Orthodontic Consultation
Once you get your child’s orthodontic diagnosis, you’ll find out what’s required in the way of frequency of appointments and, most importantly, payment so you can discuss financing options, schedule, and what’s ahead.
Interceptive orthodontics are a commitment, just like any type of braces. They require a commitment to care, oral hygiene, and orthodontic visits. Get on the early road to a healthy, strong, straight smile. Make an appointment with Woodinville, Washington orthodontist Dr. Soleil Roberts to discuss interceptive orthodontics and see what is right for your child.