Have you taken your kids to see an orthodontist yet? If you have kids at this age then you know at some point you will have to take them to get a checkup from an orthodontist. As Moms, we do have questions about the process and what exactly happens at an orthodontist. Willow Bend Orthodontics is here today to answer questions to help make the process as smooth as possible.
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1. When is the right time for my child to have an orthodontic checkup?
No later than the age of 7. Orthodontic specialists are able to spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. Even if teeth appear to be straight, your orthodontist is able to detect potential problems. If a problem is identified, the doctor may recommend starting the first phase of treatment or monitoring your child’s growth and development. The doctor should make sure it is an appropriate time for your child to start treatment. Early treatment prevents more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, early treatment helps the doctor to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
2. What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?
The main difference between dentists and orthodontists is the amount of specialized education the doctor has completed. While every orthodontist is a dentist, only 6% of dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a dentist who has not only completed a graduate program in dentistry to receive their DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine), but has also gone through a competitive residency at a CODA-accredited orthodontic program for an additional 2-3 years to be trained in specifically orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
3. Why a board-certified orthodontist?
Another distinction orthodontists can receive is board certification from the American Board of Orthodontists. A board-certified orthodontist voluntarily undergoes hundreds of additional hours of preparation to demonstrate their judgment, skills, and knowledge required for providing the highest level of patient care.
4. Why would my child need two phases of orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontists are typically able to complete all necessary orthodontic treatment in 90-95% of patients with one phase that lasts around 18-24 months. However, in some cases, the best way to complete orthodontic treatment is in two distinct phases separated by about a year or so. Your orthodontist may choose this treatment plan in order to utilize necessary growth or avoid the possibility of extended treatment later on. While we only suggest the first phase to patients that truly need it, such treatment can greatly improve the amount of correction attainable & possibly prevent necessary surgeries.
5. What should I be monitoring for my child before orthodontic consultations?
Always monitor oral hygiene and brushing habits to avoid cavities or gum disease. Be on the lookout for other abnormalities that orthodontic treatment can improve or fix. The first is crossbites, where your child’s upper teeth are inside the lower teeth. Early or late loss of baby teeth can affect future treatment and allow your doctor to monitor for missing or impacted teeth. If your child has difficulty chewing, biting, or comfortably closing their lips, be sure to discuss this with an orthodontist. Be aware of any sucking of thumbs or fingers, or other oral habits, which may impact how palates form and the position of teeth. Jaw issues such as pain, clenching, noise when opening or closing, or teeth grinding are reasons for concern. Finally, if your child has low-self esteem or is subject to bullying at school, orthodontic treatment is a great option to give them a beautiful smile they are proud of!
6. Are braces just for kids?
No, a healthy bite and good looking smile are as important at age 60 as it is at age 16! Even though adults are no longer growing, they can also enjoy improvements that come from orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, your age is not a limitation. Around 50% of the patients at Willow Bend Orthodontics are adults.
7. Why should I bring myself or my child to Dr. Jones at Willow Bend Orthodontics?
Dr. Tamara Jones fell in love with orthodontics as a patient at Willow Bend Orthodontics and it is her goal to give each and every patient a smile they love. Dr. Jones is the only female board-certified orthodontist in the city of Plano. She received her pre-doctoral training on an academic scholarship at Southern Methodist University and graduated with honors in Biological Sciences and minors in Chemistry and Religious Studies. Dr. Jones obtained the top score in the country on the dental entrance exam and attended the prestigious Baylor College of Dentistry- Texas A&M Health Science Center for her dental training. After dental school, she completed 27 months of additional specialized training in orthodontics at The University of Texas at Houston, one of the top orthodontic residency programs in the country. During her time at UT, Dr. Jones received her Certificate in Orthodontics and Masters in the Science of Dentistry by completing an extensive masters these focused on the 3-D diagnosis of facial asymmetries. Dr. Jones and her staff at Willow Bend Orthodontics are dedicated to personalizing treatment plans to best fit the needs of each patient through hands-on, personalized service and the use of the most advanced orthodontic technologies.
A message from Willow Bend Orthodontics:
We hope this article has given you more insight as to why orthodontic treatment is necessary and encouraged for both yourself and your child. Everyone deserves a great smile, that is healthy and helps them feel confident. Willow Bend Orthodontics would love to be the orthodontist office that helps you achieve your perfect smile. Any Plano Mom Reader that presents this blog post at an initial consult for either themselves or their child will receive a free hour-long massage at Spavia on us. We hope to see you soon!
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