Getting orthodontic braces can be daunting and the thought of getting them is scary to most kids. The good news is that dentists are changing their approach to applying orthodontics. Braces are no longer the only option for your child. The dental profession has made great advancements in the prevention and early treatment of crooked teeth.
Easing your child’s fear of braces
Orthodontics can be uncomfortable. But your pediatric dentist has a variety of options to suit the needs of different children. Parents need to be aware that early treatment of crooked teethcan eliminate the need for more invasive treatment later on.
That said, to help your kid get over their fear of orthodontic treatment, offer them the following reassurances.
- Needles or shots are not necessarily required for orthodontic treatment.
- Most treatments are gradual, gentle processes that don’t involve wrenching or twisting teeth into place.
- Parents are allowed to be present for treatment for younger kids.
- If your kid fears embarrassment, you can opt for clear, cosmetic braces that are secured inside the mouth, depending on the advice of your pediatric dentist Rockville MD.
The more understanding your child has of the treatment process, the less fearful they will be because of myths they heard.
Besides braces, other treatment options are available. Even braces themselves come in a variety of styles ranging from the traditional metal braces to discreet types. Clear braces or clear aligners are a popular alternative to metal braces as they straighten the teeth but aren’t easily detectable to the casual observer.
However, clear aligners are not suitable for all situations. They are limited to cases where only minor alignment is needed. You child can remove these braces for a maximum of four hours in a day, allowing them to eat and brush their teeth.
Clear aligners cost more than traditional metal braces and are not covered by many insurance policies, so you might want to explore all your options.
The role of a pediatric dentist or orthodontist
Pediatric dentists and orthodontists continue to play an increasingly important role in the growth of development of children in addition to correcting a misaligned jaw and teeth. When dental problems are left unaddressed, they may result in poor sleep, breathing problems, poor oral hygiene, and speech impediments.
Common problems that a pediatric dentist or orthodontist can treat include:
- Jaw and bite alignment – Problems in this category include underbites, crossbites, and overbites which cause speaking or chewing problems. Early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.
- Overcrowded teeth – This problem can prevent proper development of teeth into adulthood. The orthodontist realigns the teeth to ensure proper jaw development.
- Missing teeth or incorrectly erupting teeth – An orthodontist can help a child with congenitally missing teeth.
- Ankylosed teeth – In this case, a tooth fails to erupt and remains hidden under the gum and bone, potentially resulting in permanent tooth displacement. This problem needs to be addressed
- Traumatic bite – Your child’s bite can affect the appearance of the face. An orthodontist realigns the bite to facilitate proper jaw development.
Take your child for regular examinations which include bite impressions and x-rays to uncover potential dental problems. The earlier these problems are detected, the easier and more effective the treatments are.