Are you wondering if your child may need to see an orthodontist? Maybe your dentist has pointed out some potential issues with your child’s teeth and has recommended an orthodontic evaluation. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your child’s teeth aren’t coming in straight or look crowded. Whether or not you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, you should not hesitate to schedule a consultation.
At What Age Should My Child Have an Orthodontic Evaluation?
There’s no certain age when every child should have an orthodontic evaluation. The right tie should be determined by the child’s dental age more than their actual age. Once the front permanent teeth have erupted and appear to be fully in place and if there appear to be any orthodontic issues, such as crowding, your dentist may recommend that your child see an orthodontist.
The average age range for a first time orthodontic evaluation is 7-9 years old. While it may not be time for braces just yet, there may be other early orthodontic treatments that can be done that will prevent problems from developing or escalating into more serious conditions. A little prevention can go a long way.
What is Two-Phase Orthodontics?
You may have heard the term “two-phase orthodontics” used by dentists or orthodontists. This term refers to the fact that orthodontic treatment often achieves better results when it is divided into two phases.
The first phase refers to early orthodontics, the treatments that are most often done between the ages of 7 and 9. The second phase, which most commonly involves braces, takes place between the ages of 10 and 14. Phase I prepares the teeth for Phase II, making the second phase much more effective. The first phase also prevents orthodontic issues from causing irreversible damage to the permanent teeth in the childhood years.
Is it Ever Too Late to Have an Orthodontic Evaluation?
No, it’s never too late to have your teeth evaluated by an orthodontist. If your child is already past the age range for the first phase of orthodontics, don’t worry. Your child’s teeth can still be corrected later in their adolescent or teenage years.
Even if you’re an adult, it is still possible to have your orthodontic issues corrected. If you want straighter teeth or you have suffered some of the effects of a misaligned bite pattern (such as headaches or jaw pain), you can start orthodontic treatment at any time in your life.
What are the Different Types of Orthodontic Treatment?
Early orthodontics can involve a variety of different orthodontic treatments such as palate expanders and retainers that take advantage of the child’s growth in order to reshape or expand the jaw to make room for crowded teeth or to adjust the bite.
Later orthodontic treatment typically involves braces or clear teeth alignment systems such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect. Both teens and adults like the fact that Invisalign and ClearCorrect are virtually invisible so that you can straighten your teeth more subtly. The clear plastic aligners are also more comfortable and convenient because you can easily remove them to eat or brush your teeth.
Savannah Dental Solutions Also Provides Orthodontics
Every child should have an orthodontic evaluation to determine if orthodontic treatment is necessary. The majority of children need some form or orthodontic correction. The good news is that you don’t need to leave Savannah Dental Solutions to have an orthodontic evaluation. We provide orthodontic screenings and care for children, teens, and adults. We offer both Invisalign and ClearCorrect teeth alignment systems.
Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule an orthodontic evaluation. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain healthy, straight, teeth.
Choosing Between Braces or Invisalign
Traditional braces were long the gold standard for straightening teeth, and they remain highly popular today. Increasingly, though, patients and dentists are turning to Invisalign, “the clear alternative to braces.” Both options can solve the majority of orthodontic issues, and in most cases, the decision is yours. Here’s how to choose.
You will receive a customized treatment plan for whichever option you choose, but the process is different. When planning for braces, we will show you the existing problems with your teeth and tell you how the braces will help. After the braces are placed, you will not see your teeth without them until the completion of your treatment.
With Invisalign, we will create a digital 3-D model of your current smile, and then morph the model to show you exactly what to expect at each stage. When you are happy with the models, we will use them to create your personal series of aligners. You will change aligners at home, allowing you to track your progress at home.
When deciding which is better, consider your personality. Do you love surprises? Then you might enjoy having a big reveal at the end. Are you a planner who likes to know what to expect? Invisalign removes the guesswork.
We retain control over traditional braces. We place them, adjust them, and remove them. You will learn a new oral hygiene routine and memorize a list of forbidden foods, but otherwise you only need to worry about keeping your appointments. If any emergencies arise, such as a loose bracket or a popped wire, you will need to see us right away.
Invisalign puts you in control. We will place attachments on your teeth and show you how to care for your aligners, but your treatment is otherwise up to you. You will wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day for two weeks, or as directed, and then change to the next set of aligners at home. You can remove them to eat and perform oral hygiene as normal. We will see you just once every four to six weeks to keep an eye on your progress.
Which you prefer is up to you. Those who like to feel in control and are responsible enough to keep up with their aligners generally prefer Invisalign. Those with a lot on their minds who don’t want to deal with something extra usually like braces better.
Comfort and Aesthetics
Invisalign aligners are generally considered more comfortable than braces. There are no sharp edges or wires to poke, scrape, or scratch the delicate tissues in your mouth. Many people with braces never quite adapt to the feeling of a mouthful of metal.
Aesthetics are a highly personal choice. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, meaning that no one needs to know you are straightening your teeth. Those who like to make bold statements, though, often like braces in fashion colors.
For many years, braces were a good bit less expensive than Invisalign, but this is beginning to change. Upgrades, adjustments, and emergency visits must be added to the base price of braces. Invisalign’s transparent pricing model includes all aligners and all office visits.
Dental insurance is complex, and benefits vary dramatically between plans. Some plans cover both braces and Invisalign, some cover one or the other, and some do not cover orthodontic care at all. Our knowledgeable office staff will help you understand your coverage and out of pocket costs before treatment begins.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.