Does My Child Need Orthodontics?

Does My Child Need Orthodontics?

As a parent, you probably have a lot of concerns about your child’s well-being, whether related to school, their health, or their relationships. One question that many parents have is whether or not their child needs braces. After all, it is a common treatment for adolescents and teens. Parents who are looking for orthodontics treatment for children in Beverly Hills, Palms, Cheviot Hills, or Playa Vista can find the highest quality pediatric dentistry at Toothopia Dental in Culver City, CA. Before you begin any type of treatment, however, it’s best to inform yourself on what orthodontics is and how it works.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialty in the field of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, correction, and prevention of improperly positioned teeth and jaws.

What treatments are available?

At Toothopia Dental in Culver City, CA, we offer several types of orthodontic treatment for both children and adults. These include traditional metal braces, hidden (or incognito) braces, and Invisalign®.

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

Straightening the teeth produces not only aesthetic results, as the smile is made more attractive, but it also benefits oral health overall. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, which reduces the risk of problems like cavities and gum disease. Putting the teeth and jaw in proper alignment also allows for even wear on the teeth and even pressure on the jaw muscles.

Is there an ideal age for braces?

There isn’t one ideal age to begin orthodontic treatment, but it typically begins between the ages of 9 and 14. Children in this age range have had some permanent teeth come in, but because they are still growing, it is easier to alter the position of these teeth. Adults can also receive treatment if they wish to make a change to their smile and enjoy the benefits of straight teeth.

What problems can be treated with orthodontics?

Orthodontics can treat issues such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, crowding, and gapped teeth. Some of these problems may be inherited, but others develop over time, such as if children suck their thumbs or fingers, breathe through their mouths, or have poor dental hygiene.

How can I tell if my child needs braces?

Only your dentist in Culver City will be able to determine whether orthodontic treatment for Children will be needed. It is recommended that children have a checkup with an orthodontist by age 7, but your dentist at Toothopia Dental will be able to examine your child’s teeth thoroughly and decide whether orthodontic treatment would be beneficial. Some signs that your child could benefit from treatment include:

  • Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude, or are recessed
  • Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face

If you observe any of these issues in your child, it is recommended that you speak with your dentist or an orthodontist, even if the child is not yet 7.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Orthodontic treatments work in essentially the same way. A device is applied to the teeth to exert a steady, slight pressure to change their position. With traditional braces, this pressure is applied using a system of brackets and wires. Hidden braces work the same way, except that the appliance is placed on the back of the teeth, so they are not visible. Invisalign® is a system of aligners that are removable but are worn on the teeth for most of the day so that they apply the needed pressure on the teeth. A new aligner is switched out regularly as the teeth start to change position. You will be able to discuss these options with your dentist to determine the most suitable method of treatment for your child.

If you feel that your child may require orthodontic treatment to address an issue with their bite or jaw alignment, come see us at Toothopia Dental. We are happy to provide orthodontics and pediatric dentistry to the patients of Culver City, Beverly Hills, Palms, Cheviot Hill, and Playa Vista.

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