Children and teenagers are constantly growing and changing, and that includes their teeth and jaws. Growth continues until their late teens. During these important ages of growth, it’s an ideal time to consider the alignment and placement of their teeth and jaws. Correcting issues such as incorrect bites, misaligned teeth, and associated oral health can make a big difference in their adult lives ahead. At Pawtucket Orthodontics in Pawtucket and Lincoln, Dr. Laprade is ready to help young people with orthodontics before their development is complete.
What is early intervention?
Childhood and early adolescence bring many changes to the jaw as it develops. As the jaw and muscles grow together, sometimes problems occur such as an incorrect bite. Early intervention means evaluating your child’s mouth, teeth and jaws to determine if treatment at a younger age might help avoid problems later. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children see an orthodontist by the age of 7. Issues like improper bite, protruding front teeth, or insufficient space in the mouth for teeth to erupt are the types of things Dr. Laprade looks for during an early intervention appointment. If problems are identified, a treatment plan will be recommended to improve the chances of your child having a beautiful smile in the future.
What is the point before permanent teeth are in place?
Even though baby teeth are likely still present in a child as young as 7, early intervention can provide a complete view of your child’s oral condition. Dr. Laprade will be able to see what is happening in your child’s mouth, even under the gums, providing valuable insights into what the future will bring as your child continues to grow. This allows preventive treatment to be advised as needed, often reducing the extent of future orthodontic treatment.
How do braces help?
Braces are a proven method for correcting teeth and bite misalignments. Treatment involves attaching brackets to teeth, as well as metal bands to back teeth. Then an archwire will be attached to the brackets using o-rings so that the wire can gradually guide teeth into better positions. Sometimes additional equipment may be helpful like rubber bands or springs to most effectively move the teeth and jaws into desired positions.
What is the best age for braces?
Depending on your child’s condition, braces treatment often begins between the ages of 10 and 13. Waiting until these ages typically means that most baby teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth. However, since development varies from patient to patient, the exact age for most effective braces treatment will be determined by Dr. Laprade about your specific child.
Do braces hurt?
If your child or teen is concerned that braces will be painful, the truth is that there is a little discomfort as teeth move but typically only for a few days. Eating softer foods is often helpful as well as taking mild over the counter analgesics. However, the outcome is worth it! Advancements in technology have reduced the pain level. Dr. Laprade at Pawtucket Orthodontics is experienced in offering the best solutions for teens and kids as they pursue a better smile. Call today for an appointment.