Want a bit of culture shock? Take a glance at high school yearbooks from the ‘50s or ‘60s and you’ll notice more than a few smiles framed with unsightly metal braces. Now, gander at the faces adorning the pages of high school yearbooks of today and note the differences…don’t see many “brace-faces,” do you?
Why the drastic change?
Children today tend to sit in a dentist’s chair and get braces at a much earlier age – in fact, some patients with specific orthodontic issues begin treatment at seven years old or even younger. The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) routinely suggests that all children have an orthodontic screening by age seven, as permanent teeth generally begin to come in at age six or seven. It is at this point dental professionals say that orthodontic problems begin to rear their ugly heads.
Early Orthodontics: Overview
In children, orthodontic treatment is referred to as interceptive orthodontics, beginning as early as age six or seven, as aforementioned. It is at this age that teeth are still in a state of development, with the jaw still growing; this means certain conditions such as crowding may be easier to address.
Park Avenue Dental Fact: Early treatment does not apply to all orthodontic problems; however, it may assist with certain cases.
Benefits of Early Orthodontics
A child’s jaw is in a state of continuous growth, and early orthodontic intervention takes advantage of this fact. The benefits of early orthodontics come into play when the dental arches and jaws fall into incorrect positions, rendering them susceptible to functional appliances to fix or improve the problem. Additional treatment, generally, is required later down the road, though it may be less complex in approach.
Still, the technology surrounding braces for children has evolved to an almost unheard-of point in the last few decades, making them not only more comfortable but also more visually appealing than those most of their parents remember wearing.
In addition to these sentiments, young patients who show clear indications for early orthodontic intervention can benefit from an opportunity to:
• Have the growth of the jaws medically guided.
• Have the width of the upper and lower dental arches regulated.
• Have erupting permanent teeth guided into desirable positions.
• Have the risk of traumatic injury to protruded upper incisors (front teeth) lowered.
• Have harmful oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking eliminated.
• Have abnormal swallowing or speech problems reduced or eliminated.
• Have personal appearance and self-esteem boosted/improved.
• Potentially have treatment time for later comprehensive orthodontics simplified and/or shortened.
• Preserve or gain space for permanent teeth that are appearing while reducing likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
Premium Tips for Early Orthodontics From Park Avenue Dental
• Flush the Mouth with Water Before Brushing
Work with your child on getting used to rinsing with water after eating to loosen food that may be caught in braces, followed by a thorough brushing.
• Floss Once a Day
Assist your child every evening with flossing; this process helps loosen food debris as well as plaque at – and under – the gum line that would otherwise go unnoticed and even harden into tartar. The process also helps reach the nooks and crannies in the teeth that may be hard to reach with a standard toothbrush.
• Use a Fluoride Rinse
Following the process of brushing and before bedtime, assist your child with fluoride rinsing to help keep teeth strong and healthy.
• Ensure Dental Visits Every Six Months
A checkup and cleaning every six months is what a responsible parent should implement for their child; a professional, compassionate dentist like Dr. Sherman of Park Avenue Dental can point out areas that require additional attention while ensuring you are keeping your child’s teeth clean and healthy.
How to Tell if Your Child May Need Early Orthodontic Treatment
Dr. Michael Sherman of Park Avenue Dental knows the exact signs that signal the need for early orthodontic treatment. As such, he and his professional staff have put together this semi-comprehensive checklist of what to look for in varying aspects:
• Early or late baby teeth loss (typically, children start losing teeth around age five but will continue keeping all their permanents beginning around 13 years of age).
• Difficulty chewing and/or biting.
• Breathing through the mouth.
• Continuous sucking of the thumb after age five.
• Speech impediments.
• Protruding teeth (top teeth and bottom teeth tend to extend away from each other).
• Shifting of the jaw when child opens or closes mouth (crossbites).
• Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight.
Unbracing Your Life Through Cosmetic Dentistry: Invisalign vs. Braces
The life of a young teen…shopping for that head-turning, sometimes too-much-skin-baring prom dress; taking endless selfies among friends; having countless conversations at the diner with “the girls” or “the guys” about the love interest of the month…indeed, from the outside looking in, wouldn’t it seem as though there’d be no time to do anything, let alone consider getting braces?
Through the magic of advancements such as Invisalign Teen, teeth can be straightened without metal wires and brackets getting in the way. Indeed, the best times of our lives often fall in our teen years, and now this demographic is free to enjoy all the exploration that comes along with it.
Invisalign vs. Braces
Teens and young adults definitely appreciate this alternative, and parents quickly learn to as well when they see exactly how their smile transforms. Let’s compare Invisalign with traditional braces now, taking into consideration that the target demographic is this child-through-young adult group.
There are a ton of advantages associated with applications such as Invisalign Teen when comparing them to braces; both you, as a parent, and your teenage daughter or son will appreciate these Invisalign-exclusive features:
• Transparent material yields an aligner virtually impossible to locate in the mouth.
• No wires or bands to irritate the gums and palette.
• Exclusive wear indicator makes it easy to see when replacement is necessary.
• Cost comparable to braces – and even more affordable in most cases.
• Proven technology.
• Aligner that can be removed for normal brushing and flossing.
Why you might not want traditional metal braces:
• Difficult installation that requires frequent adjustment.
• Lack of accommodation for eruption of canines, second premolars and second molars.
• A difficult-to-overlook physical contraption that can make many teens feel self-conscious and withdrawn during a sensitive time in their lives.
• A process that makes normal oral care a hassle.
If your child or young adult requires orthodontic correction, the bottom line is that there’s good news: Dental professionals such as Dr. Michael Sherman are making sure patients no longer need to resort to unsightly, painful and expensive braces. Approaches such as Invisalign Teen are now offering effective treatment alternatives that deliver all the benefits of braces…but without any of the drawbacks.
Invisalign for teens and young adults is implemented on a basis formed by the same Invisalign orthodontic technology that revolutionized alignment issue responses. Made from a firm but flexible material that is also transparent, Invisalign aligners fit around the teeth and subtly correct their shape over time. Park Avenue Dental has found that most alignment problems can be resolved by way of this technology, which is one of the reasons it has become so popular so quickly with many of Dr. Sherman’s patients.