Why does my child need an orthodontist?
An orthodontist has 2-3 years of specialized training beyond dental school to specifically diagnose and treat bite problems such as underbite, overbite, cross-bite, and crowded or crooked teeth. He is a specialist at straightening teeth and ensuring proper function and aesthetics.
Your regular dentist will advise you to see an orthodontist if he or she is concerned about your child’s teeth, but you may also make an appointment with us without a referral.
If you have a concern that your child’s teeth are overcrowded, or that he or she has an overbite, underbite, crooked teeth, etc., we will be happy to schedule him or her for a free initial consultation and diagnosis. Call us to schedule a free consultation. More here @ https://cochranorthodontics.com/braces-san-antonio/
What are braces?
Braces are made up of brackets, bands, wires, and spacers. These components are used as needed to correct your child’s teeth, by exerting continuous pressure on the teeth and slowly moving them into place.
Brackets are small squares that are bonded directly to the front of each tooth with special dental glue. Brackets act like handles, holding the wires that move the teeth. The brackets can be made of stainless steel or tooth-colored material. Tooth-colored brackets are more cosmetically appealing but more expensive than stainless steel.
Orthodontic bands are stainless steel and are cemented to teeth. They wrap around each tooth and provide an attachment for the wire. Some people have only brackets and no bands.
Spacers are separators that fit between teeth to create a small space prior to the placement of orthodontic bands.
Arch wires attach to the brackets and act as tracks to guide the movement of the teeth. Archwires are made of stainless steel.
Tiny plastic rings, called ligatures or elastics hold the archwires to the brackets. Orthodontists may use additional tools, including springs and headgear, to help adjust a person’s bite.
What do braces do?
Braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone around them changes shape, allowing tooth movement to occur. The teeth are moved specifically, according to careful adjustments by the Orthodontist, in order to align the jaw, improve the bite, reduce crowding, correct spacing, and straighten teeth. Over time, braces will improve your smile and correct other problems that crowded or misaligned teeth can create, including an increased chance of tooth decay and tooth loss, chewing difficulties, and speech impediments. Visit our Website here @ https://cochranorthodontics.com/
When should my child see an orthodontist?
It is best for parents to bring children for an initial free consultation at 9 or 10, or even younger if they have a concern. This allows the doctor to evaluate the situation at an early age and ensures that the orthodontic process proceeds smoothly, creating a beautiful smile. The best time to use braces to straighten a child’s teeth is during a major growth spurt, such as occurs during puberty, At that time a child’s bones are fairly pliable, and it is easier to align the teeth rapidly. Braces are most often appropriate at 11 ½ years for girls or 12 ½ years for boys when the baby teeth are gone and the permanent teeth are in the mouth. However, some problems are best addressed while there are still baby teeth present. That’s why it’s better to be early rather than late in having your child evaluated.
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How long will my child have to wear braces?
The time required for braces to achieve your beautiful smile varies from person to person. Factors affecting the length of time that your child will need to wear braces include the severity of the problem that is being corrected, the amount of crowding, the distance the teeth must travel, the health of the teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and how closely your child follows instructions. On average, however, once the braces are put on, they usually remain in place for 8-10 to 30 months. After braces are removed, most patients will need to wear a retainer all the time for the first 12 months, then for only 10 hours in the evening for many years.
How often will my child need to see the doctor during treatment?
Dr. Atkinson will want to see your child about every four weeks or so in order to make sure that treatment is progressing smoothly. At each appointment, our doctor will make adjustments to the braces to continue the straightening process. In some cases, braces alone aren’t enough to straighten the teeth or shift the jaw. In these situations, an external appliance, such as headgear may need to be worn at home in the evening or through the night.
Can my child continue to play sports while wearing braces?
It’s fine for your child to continue to play sports after he or she gets braces. When playing sports where there is a possibility of getting hit in the mouth, your child should wear a mouthguard. The mouth guard, made of durable plastic, is designed to fit comfortably over the braces and protect the lips, cheeks, and teeth inside his or her mouth.
What about Invisalign®?
We will use clear plastic appliances, such as Invisalign, etc., for minor tooth movement if the doctor feels they are appropriate for treatment. More complicated dental problems, such as crowding or large overbites, are best corrected with braces. Using plastic aligners in these situations will take longer and will be much more expensive.”
The doctor will examine you or your child’s teeth to determine the best course of orthodontic treatment and will discuss financing that you can afford.