HOW ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT BUILDS SELF-CONFIDENCE BY CORRECTLY ALIGNING YOUR CHILD’S TEETH, PROVIDING A BEAUTIFUL SMILE AND A HEALTHY BITE.
Orthodontic treatment has become a common part of growing up, and there are many different reasons your child may need to see an orthodontist. Teeth and jaw problems may be due to an accident, losing baby teeth too early, or a habit such as thumb or finger sucking. However, these problems can also be inherited, so if you or someone in your family has had braces, there is a higher chance that your child may need them too.
SEEK AN OPINION
If you think your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment, then you can see a specialist orthodontist from as early as age seven. At this age, the first permanent (adult) teeth will be coming through and your orthodontist can give you an idea of whether orthodontic treatment is required either at an early stage, or sometime in the future. Most orthodontic treatments don’t start this young, but seeking an opinion early allows your orthodontist to examine your child and ensure that orthodontic treatment occurs at the appropriate time. If your child isn’t ready for treatment yet, your orthodontist will place you on a review schedule. This allows them to monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws ensuring their orthodontic treatment will be started at the best time. It is best for us to see your child while they are still growing, as this makes orthodontic easier in many cases, so don’t wait until they’ve stopped growing before seeking an orthodontic opinion.
THE FIRST VISIT
The orthodontist will usually ask about your child’s dental and medical history, as well as any family history of orthodontic treatment. To help them decide on the best way to achieve successful results for correct teeth alignment, a beautiful smile and a healthy bite, your orthodontist will do a thorough examination of your child’s teeth, mouth and jaw and will check your child’s bite. They may also take photographs and x-rays.
Depending on your child’s age and stage of dental development, the orthodontist will select from a number of commonly used orthodontic appliances to achieve the best possible result. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to orthodontic treatment. This is why it is important to see a specialist orthodontist for your treatment. They are dentists who have undergone an extra 2-3 years of full-time University based training.
To find a local orthodontist near you, please visit orthodonticsnz.org
BY HEATHER KEALL AND HANNAH JACK