What should one expect during the orthodontic visit?
The orthodontist will conduct a thorough dental examination of the child and take X-rays of his teeth and head, panoramic X-rays are usually required to get the full perspective of teeth, gums and jaw. Before (and then later, after) treatment photos of the child may also be taken. A mold will be made of his teeth using dental putty. This mold creates an exact impression of the teeth and will be used in studying his/her bite and creating an individualized treatment plan. The mold will also be used in creating braces that will properly fit the child.
Many orthodontists prescribe a two-phase orthodontic treatment for children. Phase one is conducted on kids 5 to 12 years old, or before all of the permanent teeth have come out. The orthodontist examines the position, size and symmetry of the jaws as well as the positioning of the teeth, breathing and other oral habits of the patient. These are all evaluated to determine the patient’s potential to develop dento-facial problems later on. Treatment recommended at this stage usually corrects bite problems and unhealthy oral habits or creates space for developing teeth.
Phase-two treatment is conducted on children 12 years old and up, when all the permanent teeth have already come out. The orthodontist evaluates the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Treatment usually addresses bite problems, jaw joint problems, gum disease and facial profile problems.
There are some orthodontists who do not do two-phase treatment; rather, they specialize on a longer single-phase treatment lasting for eight to 18 months. They claim that this treatment delivers better results, although it typically costs more.
Once the braces have been placed, the child will need to regularly visit his orthodontist to have the braces tightened or checked. The parent or guardian will need to ensure that the child faithfully follows all instructions of his/her orthodontist regarding the cleaning and maintenance of his/her braces as well as which foods to avoid.
Now you can kiss your overbite or underbite goodbye. Have an attractive smile that’s truly remarkable from an expert’s perspective. Call us in Wilbraham today at (413) 596-9657 or use our online Request an Appointment form. Our patients come to us from the Pioneer Valley (Hampden County, MA) towns of Hampden, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield, Wilbraham and East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.