A variety of tooth and jaw issues open up the door to orthodontics in a growing child. Dr. Aponte may point out that your child’s baby teeth appear crowded, or the relationship between the jaws isn’t ideal. While not generally the time for treatment, it may help you prepare for the possibility of future corrective care. As permanent teeth start to appear, usually around age 6, Dr. Aponte monitors the process further and helps you decide if early orthodontic treatment makes sense.
Although the majority of cases involve teenagers, braces can play a role for some kids in their earlier years. Since permanent teeth are typically larger than baby teeth, space may need to be opened with the gentle force of braces. This allows teeth to move into place properly, helping avoid more extensive treatment later.
A narrow jaw or a large overbite may create a similar dilemma. Guiding jaw growth while your child’s developing can make a tremendous difference in the long-term outcome. Once the growth stops in teen years, the only corrective measure often involves surgery…always a good scenario to avoid when possible.
The Usual Track
Many youngsters benefit the most from orthodontics after baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth move into place. This classic case may start in the early teen years, leaving a nicely aligned and highly functional set of teeth going into adulthood. The length of time spent wired-up can vary, but average treatment time often falls around two years.
A variety of methods allow orthodontic treatment to solve nearly every possible scenario that appears, but successful treatment relies on good patient compliance. Wearing elastic bands consistently, keeping follow-up appointments for adjustments, and practicing outstanding home care can lead to a positive outcome. This commitment involves frequent preventive visits with your hygienist as well, a strategy that helps avoid cavities around brackets. The AquaSprings Dental team specializes in helping our orthodontic patients enjoy a successful outcome: a gorgeous, healthy smile.
Our goal is for our patients to experience the least amount of dental treatment possible. And we know that children who enter adulthood with the fewest restored teeth will enjoy the lowest risk of future problems.
Sealants give us a tool that can dramatically reduce the number of fillings placed in permanent teeth during critical stages of growth and development. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves reach into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon. In fact, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle but wide enough for bacteria to hide. It’s easy to see how cavities can form in such a perfect hideout.
If the grooves in permanent molars are sealed at a young age, the risk of decay occurring on the chewing surfaces decreases dramatically. Fortunately, this procedure can be done quickly and without any discomfort. If the grooves are free of cavities, they can be gently cleaned out and conditioned for bonding. Then a resin material is flowed into the grooves and sealed quickly with a blue activating light. Within a few minutes, the permanent molars receive a protective measure against cavities.
Sealants only last a few years and may need to be repaired or replaced periodically. But research confirms a 90% reduction in chewing surface cavity activity in sealed molars. This cost-effective, simple step may help your child enter adulthood with fewer fillings and less risk of major dentistry in the future.