Have you recently looked at your child’s teeth and wondered if they need orthodontic treatment? Whether your child’s teeth are coming in crowded or on top of one another, it’s time to take orthodontic action.
At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, we believe the ideal time to get your child’s teeth examined and discuss treatment options is between the ages of six to nine. We also welcome younger children to get them on the right dental track early, although we’ll hold out on braces for kids until their adult teeth have come in.
Starting Orthodontic Treatments
During your child’s first visit to Dr. Mizrahi’s Forest Hills, NY, office, your child will receive a full, non-abrasive examination of their bite, developing jawbones, and the state of their primary and secondary teeth.
If no dental issues are present, Dr. Mizrahi or a member of his team will suggest scheduling regular visits to ensure your child’s teeth continue to come in properly. On the other hand, if misalignments or other concerns are jeopardizing the formation of erupting teeth, we’ll go over possible treatment options and necessary treatment time.
Different Approaches to a Better Smile
Dr. Mizrahi’s practice doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, the severity of each case determines the first step.
The “wait and see” approach occurs when Dr. Mizrahi holds off on treatments until most or all adult teeth have come in. Waiting is usually best for children who need to undergo more oral development before treatment time is right. However, if your child is experiencing difficulty chewing with overcrowded teeth, early intervention is best since the jawbones are still forming.
“Early intervention techniques,” or phase one, can deter the need for braces in the future. At the very least, if braces for kids (phase two) is necessary, early intervention can limit wear time. Some of these techniques include:
- Space maintainers: When baby teeth fall out, neighboring teeth can shift toward the socket, leaving little room for incoming adult teeth. Space maintainers are metal devices that leave the space open.
- Expanders: If your child’s teeth are forming in the shape of a narrow arch, it can lead to crossbites and overcrowded teeth. Expanders attach to the back molars and span across the palate. With each visit, the expanders move slightly to push your child’s teeth outwards.
- Nightguards: If your child is grinding or clenching their teeth, night guards protect the gums and teeth from abrasion that can shift them over time.
Phase two becomes necessary if your child needs further alignment after all of their secondary teeth have erupted. Braces create your child’s final look.
Your Choice of Treatment Options
Pediatric braces, or braces for children, most commonly take the form of traditional metal braces. These stainless-steel braces use metal brackets attached to each tooth and a long archwire, held in place by elastic bands, to slowly straighten teeth.
Typically made from a ceramic material, these more delicate braces provide a discreet treatment process by providing tooth-colored brackets.
Damon Braces are a self-ligating brace set. These braces run the wires through the brackets without the assistance of elastics. This will allow the patient’s smile to adjust without as many orthodontic appointments as before.
Life With Braces
Braces for kids usually mean a lifestyle change. If your child loves chewing gum or snacking on sunflower seeds, they’ll need to alter their diet until the braces come off. Sticky or hard foods can damage the appliance, lengthening treatment time.
They’ll also need to learn how to brush around the brackets and floss under the archwire to prevent buildup in these now hard-to-reach places.
Within the past 30 years, our office in Forest Hills, NY has seen it all, preparing us for any oral concern. The children of our long-time patients are now joining our growing family, and we want you to join us, too!