A Parent’s Guide to Invisalign for Kids

guide to Invisalign for kids - lyons orthodontics

guide to Invisalign for kids - lyons orthodonticsIf you are a parent who is considering Invisalign as a way to straighten your child’s teeth, then keep reading to find all the answers to your questions! 

How Soon Can Invisalign Be Started for Kids?

In the past, kids needed to lose all their baby teeth before they could start any orthodontic treatment. While that traditional way of straightening teeth is still available, advances in dental technology have made it possible for Lyons Orthodontics to treat kids at a younger age!

Dr. Tim Lyons explains that the new way to treat kids involves using Invisalign aligners which are specifically designed to address the needs of kids. The primary objective of these devices is to enlarge the arch of kids’ mouths. This means that an orthodontist in El Dorado Hills can start treating your child as young as seven years old.

Will the Child’s Snack and Meal Options Have to Change?

The experts at Lyons Orthodontics are very much aware of the difficulty of providing braces-friendly snacks and meals to children with braces.

However, you do not need to worry about providing different snacks for your child using Invisalign aligners! Your child can still eat everything that they used to eat because the Invisalign aligners can be removed at mealtimes and then put back after the meal.

Will I Have to Buy Special Dental Care Products?

When you get your child started on Invisalign Teen, they will continue to brush and floss as they did before the orthodontic treatment. Therefore, once your child leaves Lyons Orthodontics with a set of aligners, you will not have to buy anything else to maintain the child’s dental hygiene! 

The Invisalign kit has everything you will need for your child’s treatment because the orthodontic devices are designed to be complete systems, unlike the traditional metal braces that require you to buy an angled toothbrush and special flossing thread.

How Does the Cost of Invisalign Compare With the Cost of Metal Braces?

When Invisalign was first brought to the market, the device was more costly compared to traditional metal braces. However, as dental technology has advanced, the cost of these clear aligners have reduced. 

Additionally, our Fair Oaks orthodontist accepts all major dental care PPOs! Many of these cover a portion of the Invisalign cost. You can also talk to Dr. Tim Lyons about available payment plans if you are partially insured or not insured at all.

How Can My Kid Maintain the Aligners?

We asked our friend, Dr. Christopher Green, a dentist in Parker, Colorado, about maintaining Invisalign aligners. Dr. Green recommends that you teach your child how to brush and rinse the aligners in lukewarm water each day in order to keep them clean. He says it is also helpful to ask the child to refrain from chewing gum with the aligners on because this could damage them. Remember to ask your dentist about a case for the aligners. This will provide a safe container for the aligners, and your child will be less likely to misplace or lose them.

What Can Be Done If My Child Lost Their Aligner Set?

If your child were to lose his or her Invisalign aligner set, contact Lyons Orthodontics immediately. The orthodontist will assess your child and either issue a replacement set of aligners, or even switch to the next set if your child was close to the date when the switch was due to be made.

For the best treatment outcomes, Dr. Tim Lyons advises that your child keep the Invisalign aligners on for at least 20 hours each day. You can even monitor how well your child is adhering to this requirement by checking the blue indicators on the aligners. These fade as they react with saliva, so a set of aligners which is worn for fewer hours will not exhibit a significant change in the color on the indicator. Visit Dr. Tim Lyons, a Folsom orthodontist, for more information about how Invisalign Teen can be useful for your child!

How to Eat With Braces

eating with braces - lyons orthodontics

eating with braces - lyons orthodonticsFor most people, adjusting to eating with braces is the biggest challenge they have yet to face! If you are one of those people, this brief guide compiled by the dental care experts at Lyons Orthodontics in El Dorado Hills is perfect for you! 

How to Eat With Braces

  • Opt for soft foods.
  • Avoid sticky or crunchy foods that could damage the brackets of your braces.
  • Cut your food into smaller pieces.
  • Take smaller bites of food.
  • Eat slowly and chew your food carefully.
  • Avoid biting into corn on the cob, apples burritos, and other similar foods.
  • Use your back teeth to chew.
  • If sensitivity develops while you eat, ask Dr. Tim Lyons for pain relievers.

You may notice that your teeth no longer fit together like they used to before you got the braces. Lyons Orthodontics experts explain that this feeling is due to the changing position of your teeth, and it can make the act of eating feel awkward. Eating slowly is the best solution to still enjoy your meal without putting your oral health and the orthodontic devices at risk.

What Are the Recommended Foods For When You First Get Braces?

If you just got new braces, or your current set has just been tightened, you are better off eating liquid or soft foods, like mashed potatoes, yogurt, meal replacement shakes and soup.

Dr. Tim Lyons, a Folsom orthodontist, recommends that you eat cold foods, like ice cream, to ease any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing. Make sure that those cold foods don’t have anything crunchy in them and avoid biting hard into them while you eat.

As you get more used to having braces, you can gradually shift back to your normal favorite foods. Talk to your Fair Oaks orthodontist for advice about when and how to make this transition.

As you decide what food to eat, remember that sections of your braces, such as the ligatures, may be stained by pigmented foods (beetroot, curry sauce and blackcurrants, for example). Try your best to avoid these foods as much as possible.

What Snacks Are Okay for People With Braces?

The professionals at Lyons Orthodontics in El Dorado Hills advise patients to refrain from eating snacks like crunchy chips and popcorn when they start wearing braces. 

Softer snacks, such as applesauce, soft cheeses, soft cookies, and muffins are safe to eat if you wear braces. Although, don’t overdo the sugary snacks as a way to compensate for missing out on the crunchy snacks. Excess sugar isn’t good for your teeth and overall health, and getting braces can be a good time to adjust your sugar intake accordingly!

To make it easier to avoid overconsumption of sugary snacks, stock up on healthy snacks, like bananas, blueberries, and yogurt. 

Recommended Eating Habits for People With Braces

Our busy lives have forced us into the habit of taking big bites of food eating in a hurry. However, if you wear braces, this style of eating will not only cause you pain, but it will also endanger the different components of the braces, like the brackets.

Dr. Tim Lyons recommends that you make a deliberate effort to bite small pieces of food and then chew them slowly so that you don’t put your braces at risk. Eating slowly can help you enjoy your food more and digestion! 

Sterling Heights dentist, Dr. Farhart, suggests that another helpful eating habit is consuming plenty of water with your food. This habit is good for two main reasons. The first reason is it will help you swallow the small bites of food if you are finding it difficult to chew the food thoroughly. The second reason is the water you drink will rinse the mouth so that any food particles stuck on your braces are washed away. This makes maintaining oral hygiene even easier!

You must check your braces each day to see if anything is out of sync. If you see anything abnormal, contact us at Lyons Orthodontics immediately regardless of having a scheduled visit planned within the coming days. Prompt attention to any defect will prevent any injuries by damaged braces and allows your orthodontic treatment to stay on course!

 

Kids’ Dental Retainers

Kids dental retainers - Lyons Orthodontics

Kids dental retainers - Lyons OrthodonticsWhen your El Dorado Hils or Fair Oaks orthodontist removes your child’s braces, the orthodontist will give your child a retainer! This retainer will be worn for a certain period of time so that the teeth don’t return to the original positions before the orthodontic treatment.

Types of Retainers

Our orthodontists may recommend one of the two types of retainers. These two types are:

Removable retainers. These are retainers that your child can take in and out from time to time for a variety of reasons. For example, your child may remove the retainer before they eat. Removable retainers are usually flexible and made from plastic or other similar materials. The experts at Lyons Orthodontics will set a customized routine that your child will follow when wearing these removable aligners. For example, Dr. Tim Lyons may recommend that your child wears the retainer for at least 20 hours each day for the first three months after the braces are removed. From there, the child should wear the retainer only at night for another six or so months. These instructions will depend on the needs of the child and the status of their teeth.

Fixed retainers. As the name suggests, a fixed retainer can only be removed at the end of the set period after being fitted in your child’s mouth. These retainers are made from thin stainless steel wires, which Dr. Tim Lyons binds to the back of your child’s teeth. 

How Do Retainers Work?

When braces are removed after treating your child, there is a risk that the teeth will “relapse” and return to their original positions. However, the retainer prevents this by holding the teeth in place until the jaw bone grows around the teeth holding them firmly in place.

For some kids, a retainer may be provided even if they did not previously have braces. This happens if a dentist finds that one or a few teeth are out of position or they have another minor defect. If the situation doesn’t call for braces or other more serious orthodontic treatment, then a retainer can be recommended to address the dental problem.

Retainers could also be helpful if your kid suffers from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, has a tongue thrust, or suffers from bruxism.

Getting Your Child Fitted for a Retainer

When you take your child to Lyons Orthodontics to be fitted for a retainer, our team will use a material called alginate to get a dental impression of your child’s mouth. This material is thick and chewy, and your child will be asked to pick their favorite flavor so that the impression-taking process is as pleasant as possible! Then, the mold then goes to the lab where the custom retainer will be made. The plastic segment of the retainer can even be customizable! For example, your child could choose an image of their favorite cartoon character to print on the retainer.

After about a week, Dr. Tim Lyons will fit the retainer to your child’s teeth. It may take a few days for your child to adjust to talking with the retainer in the mouth, but with a little practice, everything will return to normal. The Folsom orthodontist suggests that you encourage your child to read out loud for a few minutes every day to get used to speaking with the retainer in place.

How to Take Care of a Retainer

Your child will use their retainer in his or her mouth each day for months or even years to come. This means that the retainer will be exposed to oral bacteria, food particles, and plaque. Therefore, it is important that your child cleans the retainer every day. Talk to an orthodontist in Fair Oaks for advice on how to clean the retainer that your child has been given. 

Another important aspect of caring for a retainer is to prevent it from drying out. This is especially important for removable retainers since they can spend a while out of the mouth. Dr. Fadi Farhart in Sterling Heights, MI, recommends that your child makes it a habit to place the retainer in its container with plain water, which will keep the material pliable.

In addition, avoid putting the retainer in hot water or any other hot fluid since the material could warp or get damaged. When the retainer loses its shape, it will be less capable of keeping your child’s teeth straight. So what would be the point? In the same vein, don’t place the retainer on a heat source, such as the radiator in your room.

While some parents may not immediately see the value of a retainer case, it is a very important way of taking care of the retainer. The retainer case provides a safe place where the retainer can be kept temporarily when it is out of the mouth. This way, the retainer will be less likely to be lost or misplaced. 

If you still have questions, contact Lyons Orthodontics at info@lyonsorthodontics.com. All your questions will be answered, and your child’s orthodontic needs will be met by our team of dedicated professionals! After all, life is better with the beautiful smile of your kids to grace it!

 

How Soon Can My Child Start Wearing Braces

How Soon Can My Child Start Wearing Braces - Lyons Orthodontics

How Soon Can My Child Start Wearing Braces - Lyons OrthodonticsYou may be surprised to learn that while kids start wearing braces when they are in middle or high school, orthodontic treatment normally begins much earlier than that. The recommended age for your child’s first orthodontic evaluation is seven years of age, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will start orthodontic treatment at that age. Instead, several factors will have to be evaluated before your child can begin any form of orthodontic treatment. In this article, you’ll learn what the experts at Lyons Orthodontics in Folsom and Fair Oaks have to say about orthodontic care for kids.

Your Kid’s First Orthodontic Visit

The permanent teeth begin erupting when a child is about seven years old, and this makes this age the appropriate time for you to take your child to Lyons Orthodontics for their first evaluation.

During that evaluation, your orthodontist in El Dorado Hills will identify any serious orthodontic issues, such as a narrow jaw, a crossbite or malocclusion.

Once those defects are observed, Dr. Tim Lyons could recommend what is technically called “phase 1 treatment.” This type of treatment has the objective of correcting the underlying skeletal issues behind the orthodontic defect found.

The treatment could take the form of an aligner to expand the arch, or a retainer to correct tooth protrusion. This phase of treatment continues until your child’s permanent teeth have developed, and then the orthodontist in Fair Oaks will switch to Phase 2 of the treatment plan.

Do All Kids Go Through Phase 1 Treatment?

Note that not every child has to undergo Phase 1 orthodontic treatment. If an orthodontist recommends this treatment for your child, ask as many questions as you can so that you understand what the problem is and why the treatment is necessary at this time.

If you are in any doubt about the treatment recommendation, visit Lyons Orthodontics for a second opinion before you commit to the treatment plan. Remember, when problems are caught early, the solution is often less invasive and less costly, so weigh your options carefully.

Factors to Weigh Before Accepting Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment

It is possible for the treatment to take a little longer since the orthodontist will have to wait for some permanent teeth to grow before he or she can place braces on them. Are you willing to let your child undergo this extended treatment?

Secondly, there is a possibility that your child’s growth phase could take longer than expected. When that happens, Dr. Tim Lyons points out that there is a possibility that the corrections made using Phase 1 orthodontic treatment could be outgrown and therefore have to be redone. For this reason, the orthodontic professionals at Lyons Orthodontics only recommend this early treatment when it is absolutely necessary to fix severe defects.

Additionally, some aspects of Phase 1 treatment could require your child to undergo oral surgery. This procedure carries the risk of infection and other complications. The risk of this potential trauma to your child so early in their life should be considered before the decision to proceed is made.

If the first orthodontic evaluation doesn’t uncover any serious defects that require immediate attention, then you can wait until your child is ten or older before seeing a dentist in Fair Oaks about a referral to Lyons Orthodontics for Phase 2 treatment.

Phase 2 orthodontic treatment includes fitting your child for braces to correct the existing orthodontic issues. Other options that Dr. Tim Lyons could recommend include ceramic braces, lingual aligners, and Invisalign clear aligners. These treatment devices are explored below.

Invisalign Aligners

If your child suffers from minor orthodontic defects, such as slight teeth misalignment or a minor crossbite, then he or she could be a good candidate for Invisalign aligners. These clear aligners are nearly invisible, so your child will not have to be self-conscious that everyone knows that they have braces in the mouth.

Invisalign also comes with the advantage of allowing your child to eat anything that they like to eat since he or she will remove the aligners, eat and then wear the aligners again.

However, the experts at Lyons Orthodontics say that the aligners must be in the mouth for 20-22 hours each day if the desired results are to be seen at the end of the treatment. Also, not every child is a good candidate for Invisalign since it is ideal for minor defects only. Take your child to a Folsom orthodontist for an evaluation to confirm their eligibility for these aligners.

Ceramic Dental Braces

Another option if discreetness is important for your child is the ceramic braces. The brackets of these braces are fabricated from ceramic, and this makes these components to be nearly indistinguishable from your child’s teeth.

As is the case with Invisalign, ceramic braces aren’t suitable for treating some orthodontic conditions, so it is advisable to consult Lyons Orthodontics about this option for your child.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces differ from other types of braces in the sense that the lingual braces are attached to the back of one’s teeth instead of the front as is the case with other braces. Two things limit the applicability of these devices. First, the orthodontist has to be as skilled as the team at Lyons Orthodontics in order to pull off this treatment, so do your homework and be sure that they have the necessary skills for the job.

Secondly, not all orthodontic problems can be addressed using lingual braces. For this reason, see Dr. Tim Lyon in El Dorado Hills for an assessment of the appropriateness of these devices for your child’s orthodontic needs.

Traditional Metal Braces

This option relies on metal plates and wires to slowly move a patient’s teeth to a more desirable position. The metal brackets on these devices are attached to the patient’s teeth and only Dr. Tim Lyons or another orthodontist can remove them during a visit to the office.

The metal wires are gradually tightened over the course of the orthodontic treatment. Each time they are tightened, more pressure is applied on the teeth so that they keep moving towards the desired positions.

The downsides of this treatment pointed out by dentists in Fair Oaks are that your child will have some restrictions placed on their dietary choices in order to safeguard the braces from damage. The devices are also rather conspicuous, so your child may be self-conscious about having the braces in their mouth. We asked our friend, Dr. Chris Green, a cosmetic dentist in Parker, CO, about traditional metal braces. Dr. Green says that traditional braces are one of the more popular choices for young kids. Most teenagers would prefer Invisalign over traditional braces. But with the little ones, they don’t care as much. 

The orthodontic treatment that a Folsom orthodontist recommends for your child may come with some discomfort for your child, but this can be managed with OTC painkillers and other home remedies. If anything comes up during the treatment, contact Lyons Orthodontics immediately. We are here to help you achieve the perfect smile. Contact us today to begin your Just Smile journey!