Orthodontics plays an important part in both your child’s health and the appearance of their smile. Early detection and prevention is the key to their future oral health, so read on to find out more about children’s orthodontics.
When Should My Child First See an Orthodontist?
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends the first orthodontic appointment around the age of 6 or 7. This is the stage at which adult teeth usually appear and enough baby teeth will have erupted for developmental issues to become clear. At this stage, your orthodontist will decide whether treatment is necessary straight away or if it would be better to wait until your child is a little older.
Early Intervention is Key
Early intervention in your child’s orthodontic issues aims to reduce or eliminate the need for further treatment in later life. As a parent, early treatment can represent huge potential savings on more serious treatment at a later date as well as avoiding the stress of oral surgery. Professional treatment of tooth alignment or jaw issues at an early age can set your child up with a beautiful healthy smile for life.
Why Does My Young Child Need Treatment?
In some circumstances, it is recommended to postpone treatment for a few years but in many cases, your orthodontist will choose to intervene as early as possible when there is something wrong. A young child’s teeth and jaws are easier to shape so treatment is much simpler than on a fully-grown adult mouth. Your orthodontist’s goal is not just to fix problems but to prevent them occurring in the future.
Childhood Orthodontic Treatments
The most common orthodontic treatment for children is a brace or retainer . These are designed to correct misalignment which is both a functional and aesthetic issue. If severe misalignment goes untreated, this can cause problems with eating and speaking in later life as well as self-confidence issues from having a crooked smile.
Braces for children are very common and can be made to look as subtle or brightly-coloured as your child would like. Other problems such as protruding teeth, overcrowding, poor bite alignment or congenitally missing teeth can be solved using specific treatment methods.
Signs Your Child Should Visit an Orthodontist
All children develop in their own way so it can be difficult to tell if your child’s teeth are growing in properly. However, there are a few warning signs to watch out for when monitoring your child’s oral health. If your child loses their baby teeth very early or late, has difficulty chewing or biting, or has teeth that seem to meet abnormally then it’s worth getting this checked by an orthodontic specialist.
In addition to this, there are several common oral habits amongst small children that can give rise to orthodontic issues in the future, such as thumb sucking, breathing through the mouth, tooth grinding and tongue thrusting.
To find out about how orthodontic treatment can help your child, call Tony Weir Orthodontics now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.
Dental anxiety affects many Australians and it’s very common for patients to be nervous when visiting their orthodontist, too. Here at Tony Weir Orthodontics, we understand that many of our patients experience nervousness around their treatment and we endeavour to do everything we can to make your visit as stress-free as possible. Below, we list a few of our top tips on how to alleviate dental anxiety.
Honesty is the Best Policy
If you’re nervous about your upcoming appointment, then make sure to tell your orthodontist . They will be very familiar with your concerns and if they know that you are nervous, they can help you to feel more comfortable. Try to speak to the orthodontist that you will be seeing in advance so you can discuss what your appointment will involve, what tools and techniques will be used and how long the process will take.
Often, the biggest part of dental anxiety is a fear of the unknown, so finding out as much about your treatment as you can will make it a lot less nerve-wracking. If you know of ways in which your orthodontist can help to alleviate your fears, let them know – they want you to have a positive experience and will do everything they can to make that happen.
Bring a Companion
There’s no need for you to be alone during your appointment, unless medically necessary, so ask your orthodontist if you can bring a friend or relative. Having someone with you who understands your feelings can be very calming and they can also be a distraction when you need it. Whether you want someone to hold your hand, pull funny faces to distract you or talk you through what’s going on inside your mouth, these can all help reassure you during your appointment.
Distract Your Focus
When you’re nervous about undergoing orthodontic treatment, it can be hard to think about anything else. Although most treatments will be painless, they can be uncomfortable, and focusing on your discomfort will not help you to feel calm. Ask your orthodontist whether it’s possible for you to listen to headphones while they carry out their work and you can distract yourself with your favourite podcast or playlist.
If this isn’t possible then think up some other mind distractions before you get in the chair – this could be replaying the plot of a movie you saw recently, planning the details of your next holiday or trying to remember every item in your last grocery shop.
Gain Back Control
Often the nerves surrounding orthodontic treatment stem from the lack of control you may feel over what’s happening whilst you’re in the chair. If you think this is the root cause of your anxiety, speak to your orthodontist in advance to arrange a signal you can give to show that you feel uncomfortable or worried. Even just having the option of using this signal can make you feel more in control of what’s happening and calm your nerves.
To speak to our friendly team about your concerns and find out how we can help, call us now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.