Did you grow up with bad teeth? Have you had braces or wish you always had? Those are important questions to ask yourself if you have young children. If you were a child with crooked teeth, there’s a good possibility that your child will end up needing orthodontic work as well, and that may worry you. How expensive will it be? Will they be in pain? Will it be effective?
These are all legitimate concerns to have – no one wants their child to suffer, even if there will be a long-term benefit for them. We value our youngest patients and want to help them just as much as you do, which is why we practice preventive orthodontics!
What Is Preventive Orthodontics?
Just like the name sounds, preventive orthodontics aims to identify problems in your child’s teeth and fix them before they become serious or permanent. We do this using the same diagnostic tools as all our other orthodontic treatments – our 3D orthodontic scanning and modeling machines. These machines, some of the most advanced in the industry, enable us to get an accurate and clear picture of your child’s teeth and bone structure. By knowing exactly where their teeth are, how they are coming in, and any complications that their jaw or bone shape may cause, we are able to begin treatment to change the course of their oral development.
In order to be most effective, we recommend seeing your child by age 7, though we have started preventive treatments for patients as young as 5. Your child’s first exam will start with an examination of their mouth to find out if they have enough room for all of their permanent teeth. We’ll also inspect the shape and size of your child’s arches to be sure that the relationship in size is appropriate and will be okay as they grow.
After we’ve taken images of your child’s bones and teeth, we’ll discuss any appropriate treatments with you. We use several different devices and techniques to encourage proper tooth development.
- An expander is a device attached to your child’s upper row of teeth. The expander sits on the roof of the mouth and can be adjusted to widen the upper arch to eliminate underbite or potential for overcrowding.
- Forsus is a piston-like spring system that is attached to the top and bottom row of teeth. These springs use two pieces of metal to push and pull on the arches, eliminating overbites by pulling the upper jaw back and pushing the lower one out until they meet in the ideal spot.
- Space Maintainers are an important part of preventive orthodontics. As your child grows and begins to lose his or her baby teeth, maintaining the shape of the jaw is fundamental. Space maintainers will hold your child’s jaw in the correct position and also retain the space for the new tooth.
As your child gets older, the benefits from preventive orthodontics will be readily apparent. Your child may still need braces or another form of orthodontics, which when combined with preventive techniques is called “two-phase orthodontics.” We’re glad to help your child settle into a second orthodontic phase! Invisalign Teen is a great solution for the second phase of orthodontics, and can even be configured to make allowance for teeth that haven’t come in yet!
If you remember going through orthodontic treatments as a young person, imagine being able to save your child that embarrassment and discomfort! You can also save yourself time and money down the road by calling us today at 337-465-4139 or by filling out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you and your kids soon!