While some kids are thrilled by the prospect of adorning their teeth with metallic brackets and wires, others are less enthused about how they will appear and/or how their lifestyle will be affected once they get braces.
As a parent, what should you know before talking with your kids about getting braces? Or, better yet, how do you tell if your children need braces in the first place? Regardless of how your child feels about needing braces (if you’ve gotten to that point), as their parent you need to educate yourself. Well, you’ve come to the right place here at Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics, the top orthodontist in Augusta and Thomson! Today’s blog is all about providing a “Braces 101” class for parents. We’ll present the basics of orthodontic care and braces so that you can do the same for your little one, regardless of if they are excited by the idea of wearing an oral appliance or not!
Who We Are
Before we dive straight in, however, we’d like to remind our readers about our approach to orthodontic treatment here at Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics.
“Everyone is nice, helpful and courteous. Our family have been with them since 2010 when my husband and I got our braces 2010-2012. LaToya, one of our daughters got her braces in 2017 to 2019. and now Courtney our teenage daughter just got her braces in March. Each time our experience has been wonderful, from addressing our concerns about our teeth to explaining the treatment plan.” – Cynthia M., Five Stars, Google Reviews
As Cynthia illustrates so well, we take a patient-centered approach at our Augusta orthodontist office. We’ve been perfecting handmade smiles since 1973, and we’ve blended our experience with a fresh passion for providing the best orthodontic care in the area. Our practice goal is excellent treatment in a caring environment, so whether you are looking for pediatric orthodontic services for your child or you yourself need braces, we will put our expertise to work for you. Learn more about Dr. Andrews and our team right here!
Why Do Children Need Braces?
Let’s get back to the topic at hand — why children need braces in the first place. It could be any number of reasons, truth be told. From having a “bad bite” (malocclusion), overlapping teeth, or crooked teeth to having an over- or under-bite, kids will often need braces to correct these structural dental problems.
If you are going to need to explain all of this to your little one, you might need to know a bit more than this, since kiddos are prone to keep asking “why?” after every single answer their parents so patiently provide. It’s often the case that jaw and tooth problems are caused by certain habits that you should be aware of, such as thumb sucking. Likewise, problems can develop if children lose their baby teeth too soon (oftentimes as the result of eating too much sugar and maintaining poor oral care standards). In other cases, your child might have the best dental care in the world but there is nothing they can do about the inherited traits they’ve received (thanks Mom and Dad!) All that to say, if you needed braces when you were young, there’s a good chance that your children will also need them.
How To Tell If Your Child Needs Braces
Usually it’s your kid’s pediatric dentist who first takes stock of whether or not your child will need braces. If your child’s dentist does notice some issues, you will be referred to an orthodontist who is specially trained in correcting alignment issues and jaw problems in children and adults (like us, at Rogers & Andrews!).
When would this first visit to the orthodontist’s office happen? Like the correct answer to any nuanced question, the reply is, “it depends.” Sometimes it might happen as early as 6 or 7 years old, while other times children develop into adolescents before there is sufficient evidence that an orthodontist should intervene. However, we at Rogers & Andrews will always recommend the safest route — which is that early treatment is the most effective treatment in the world of orthodontia.
When deciding if your child should go see an orthodontist, remember that being proactive about the situation doesn’t mean your child will need to get braces right away. All it means is that your child will be afforded early treatment so that your orthodontist can find any problems that rear their heads. Then, together, you can decide when the best time is to start any treatment that might be necessary.
The First Visit – Not So Bad!
Here’s what you can tell your child to expect on their first visit to the orthodontist: it’s not so bad! More specifically, you can tell them that the orthodontist will be gentle and wants them to be healthy with a beautiful smile for the rest of their lives! The first orthodontist appointment will involve a thorough examination of your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaw. Your kid will be asked to bite down to test alignment, and may be asked questions about if they have any trouble swallowing or chewing.
The orthodontist might take an X-ray of the mouth and teeth to see how their future teeth are coming in. Finally, your family orthodontist might want to make an impression (or mold) out of your child’s teeth. Do your best to convince your child that this is fun! If they can get into it, they might really love it, especially when they see that the result of the impression is an exact replica of their own teeth!
Schedule Your First Visit With Dr. Andrews
It’s normal for your child (and sometimes, parent) to feel nervous about the first visit to the orthodontist. If your dentist has recommended that you go and see one, Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics is a great choice! It’s completely normal for you or your little one to feel a bit anxious about the experience, so keep in mind that we do everything in our power to make you feel comfortable and well-cared for. Visit our first visit resource for more information, and then give us a call! We’d love to hear from you.