You 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.
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 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!