How do I know whether my child needs orthodontic treatment?
Some orthodontic problems are hard to identify because the front teeth still look straight. On the other hand, some problems look intimidating and complex but will resolve on their own.
Still, there are some things you might notice that could indicate your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment:
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
- Jaws that pop or sift
- Misplaced, crowded or blocked-out teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or finger sucking
The best way to determine whether your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment is to see an orthodontist. Call our office today at 276-638-888 to request a complimentary consultation. We’d be happy to see your child and make recommendations.
At what age should an orthodontist see my child?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an evaluation by age 7. Often, when we see a young child, we take no action and repeat annual examinations until treatment is indicated. However, early detection of some orthodontic problems is important so we can take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.
Why should I or my child get orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment will give you a beautiful smile, which has the potential to boost self-esteem and improve a patient’s outlook. Just as important, the correction of orthodontic problems can lead to a much healthier mouth, making it easier to care for the teeth and preventing more serious problems.
Can you be too old for braces?
No, age is not a factor; only the health of your gums and bone, which support the teeth. About 25% of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number is growing!
Will it hurt to get braces?
As a rule, braces make your teeth uncomfortable for only a few days. This annoyance can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Today braces are smaller, more comfortable and use technology that reduces the discomfort associated with tooth movement.
How long will I have to wear braces or Invisalign?
The length of orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient to patient. The complexity of the case and type of treatment selected both make a difference. How well patients follow instructions is a factor, too. Most patients can expect to be in treatment from 18 months to two years.
Will I still need to see my dentist while I’m in orthodontic treatment?
Absolutely! In fact, regular dental check-ups and impeccable dental hygiene are even more important during orthodontic treatment.
Will I still be able to play sports, play my instrument or sing?
You will! Whether you’re in orthodontic treatment or not, we recommend athletes wear mouthguards. If you’re a musician, you might feel awkward at first, but you’ll soon adjust and be playing or singing beautifully.
Do I need a referral from my dentist to make an appointment?
What will happen at the first appointment?
You’ll have a complete examination and we’ll talk about your treatment options. For more information about your complimentary consultation, see our New Patients page.
Will I need to have teeth extracted?
In some cases, extractions are necessary: severe crowding, a mouth too small to accommodate all the teeth, impacted teeth. For very young patients with these problems, early intervention can make extractions unnecessary.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointment intervals depend on your specific case, but typically you’ll only need to visit our office every month to six weeks.
Will I have to adjust my diet?
Generally, no, but there are a few foods you should stay away from. See our Braces page for more details.
Will I have to wear a retainer after orthodontic treatment?
At the end of orthodontic treatment, it’s normal for teeth to try to shift back to their original positions. For most patients, we recommend a retainer to keep teeth in their new, lovely spots.
How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the complexity of the case and the treatment appliance you choose. We think cost shouldn’t be a barrier to treatment, so we offer many payment arrangements. Read more about our financial options.
What if I delay treatment?
We can’t predict the future, but we can predict that your orthodontic problems won’t get better without treatment. In fact, they could get worse. Long delays can cause cases to become more complex, requiring longer, more expensive treatment.