4 Facts Parents Should Know About Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontists can correct crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites. They are the dentists that help to create straight, beautiful smiles. As a parent, you may be considering orthodontic treatment for your child. Here are four facts parents should know about orthodontic treatment:

1. Children can benefit from an early orthodontist appointment.

In most cases, orthodontists will recommend that children begin orthodontic treatment in their teen years, once their permanent teeth have arrived. However, children can still benefit from seeing an orthodontist at an early age. Many tooth misalignment problems become apparent in childhood. Consulting with an orthodontist when your child is as young as seven years old will allow the dentist to come up with a preliminary treatment plan that can change as your child grows.

2. Orthodontic treatment can serve a practical purpose.

People sometimes view orthodontics as a cosmetic branch of dentistry. However, orthodontic treatment can be medically necessary. When a person's teeth are misaligned, they may have issues biting properly. A jaw that is too small can lead to tooth overcrowding, which can cause pain and encourage tooth decay, often requiring dental interventions. Orthodontists can expand narrow jaws, fix malocclusion, and treat painful conditions. It's possible your child may need orthodontic treatment for optimal oral health.

3. Tooth extraction may be necessary.

When your child's orthodontic treatment begins, their dentist will perform a thorough examination of their mouth. Their teeth will be photographed and x-rayed from all angles to provide the orthodontist with a clear picture of their teeth. Based on their findings, your child's orthodontist will determine the type of orthodontic treatment appropriate for your child. In some cases, tooth extraction may be necessary to create enough room in your child's mouth. Tooth extraction may sound like a drastic step, but it's very common. The procedure will be performed using local anesthesia, which will keep your child from experiencing pain.

4. Home remedies can soothe your child's dental pain.

Orthodontic treatment may be uncomfortable at times. If your child receives braces, they will need to return to the orthodontist's office every few weeks to have their braces tightened. Many patients feel soreness in their teeth and jaws after this procedure. However, there are things you can do to ease your child's discomfort. Provide ice and popsicles for your child to suck on, since cold temperatures have an analgesic effect. You can also offer your child NSAIDs for pain relief.

For more information about what services an orthodontist can provide, contact a local dentistry office.