What to Expect During Your Child’s Orthodontic Treatment: Expert Advice from a Kids’ Dentist
Orthodontic treatment is a common experience for many children worldwide. While the treatment can be daunting for children and parents, understanding what to expect during the process can help alleviate some concerns.
Invariably, relying on advice and pointers from a reputable kids dental specialist can help, enabling parents and children to be prepared for the process without worrying about anything. For instance, you will learn what to expect during your child’s orthodontic treatment, including the initial consultation, the braces available and the treatment process.
Also, experts give tips on caring appropriately for braces, ensuring your child adjusts quickly. The following points briefly discuss these details that parents will find helpful.
Finding a Reliable Pediatric Dentist
Before diving into what to expect during your child’s orthodontic treatment, finding a reliable pediatric dentist is paramount. A competent pediatric dental professional treats children, including infants, toddlers, and teenagers. Their extensive training allows them to provide age-appropriate dental care to children.
You can seek referrals from trusted friends and family or search for experts online. Once you have a few names, research their qualifications, experience, and patient reviews to determine if they fit your child’s needs well. Ensure they provide a range of treatments for kids, such as infant dental care, cavity prevention, braces, tooth eruption and decay, etc.
The foremost step in your child’s orthodontic treatment is the initial consultation with an orthodontist. During the appointment, the specialist will examine your child’s teeth, bite, and jaw to determine whether orthodontic treatment is necessary. They will discuss the options available, answer your questions, and provide an estimated treatment time and cost if treatment is required.
Types of Braces
Several types of braces are available for children of all ages, including conventional metal brackets, ceramic variants, lingual designs, and clear aligners. Conventional ones are the most familiar and consist of metal brackets and wires attached to the teeth. Ceramic variants are similar to metal ones, but the frames are tooth-colored or transparent, making them less noticeable.
Lingual braces are affixed to the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible from the front. Clear aligners are a series of removable clear trays that gradually move the teeth into position, suitable for older teens.
The treatment process can begin once a suitable type of braces has been determined for your child. The orthodontist will place the brackets on your child’s teeth and adjust the wires to apply gentle pressure to the teeth, slowly moving them into the desired position. Your child may experience some discomfort and soreness at first, and dentist-recommended pain relievers can help to alleviate this discomfort.
Throughout the process, your child must visit the orthodontist regularly to adjust the wires and brackets. These typically occur every four to six weeks, depending on the type of braces your child has.
Oral Hygiene and Retainers
Any reputable kids dental specialist will testify that maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Your child must brush and floss their teeth regularly and avoid certain foods that can damage the braces or aligners. Orthodontists provide specific instructions on caring for the braces or aligners to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy throughout the treatment.
Finally, once your child’s teeth have been moved into the correct position, they must wear a retainer to prevent them from shifting back. The expert will provide instructions on wearing the retainer and how often to leave it on.