When big heroes today look back at their high school years, thoughts of bulky metal gear and colorful bands are inevitable. Back in the day – though not too far back – metal braces were commonplace in high school. It seemed like every other kid in a high school yearbook had the terrible misfortune of getting braces right around picture day. But, the sight of kids with braces in their late adolescent years is becoming less and less common. We’re seeing less high school students undergoing orthodontic treatment, especially with metal braces. Children today are getting their orthodontic treatment much earlier in hopes of correcting dental problems before they even have a chance of showing up.
You don’t have to travel far to find a pediatric dentistry clinic to care for your little hero’s orthodontic treatment. Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry has three locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley, each offering comprehensive treatment options from routine dental care to outpatient services. Meet our team of incredible dentists and see why your child will be in great hands throughout their treatment.
Screening can start sooner than you expect. According to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), the recommended age for a child to visit an orthodontist is no later than age seven. Click To Tweet
It may seem too early, but by age seven your little one should have enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine if any dental problems are developing. A good orthodontist will be able to detect the condition in which a child’s teeth are developing and make recommendations accordingly. A treatment plan can be initiated to help prevent long-term dental issues from arising or worsening. If an orthodontist does detect problems in a child’s dental development, early treatment can achieve results that may not be possible once the jaw and facial bones have finished growing.
The goal of early orthodontic intervention is to achieve a near perfect bite and smile. Click To Tweet
When treatment begins early, your little hero is more likely to keep all of his or her permanent teeth and enjoy a healthier bite with less dental problems in the future. This trend of orthodontic treatment in young children is called interceptive orthodontics. The practice takes advantage of the developing mouth and bones of a child to help them achieve better long-term results.
For a little hero, the thought of braces can be frightening! No child is looking forward to a mouth full of metal wires and the pain and discomfort that is often associated with braces. We are here to tell every little hero out there that braces are not that scary. There are plenty of options for orthodontic treatment today, from clear aligners to clear ceramic braces. Modern changes in orthodontic treatment are made to be much more aesthetically pleasing for users. Even traditional metal braces are becoming much smaller with fun-colored elastics. The elastics, which are the tiny rubber bands that hold the wires to the individual metal brackets, can be changed during a checkup appointment to suit whatever color theme your child is in the mood for.
While modern-day braces are less visible, less inconvenient, and more comfortable for most, they still take some getting used to. As with every major change, there is a period of adjustment before caring for braces becomes a routine. This process can be tricky for youngsters, and it may take a team effort between the parents, the orthodontist, and the child. If you and your child decide for early orthodontic treatment there are a few things you should consider. Brushing and flossing will take longer and require more care and attention from your little hero. All those chewy or doughy foods your child loves will have to be limited during orthodontic treatment as sticky food can easily get caught around brackets and wires. Finally, after adjustments, your child may experience some soreness and discomfort. You may want to have some sort of pain reliever on hand for every orthodontic checkup with your child and for the days following an adjustment. Overall, early orthodontic treatment lasts anywhere between 18 to 24 months. It’s important to support your child throughout to ensure they take good care of the brackets and wires in between checkups.
If you have noticed that your child’s permanent teeth are coming in, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your local pediatric orthodontist. Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry caters to boys and girls of all ages from all over the Rio Grande Valley. With an appropriate orthodontic treatment plan, we’ll help arm your little hero with all the tools he or she will need in their fight against those Sugarbugs that cause dental problems.