Most parents have a lot of questions when they bring their child to our kid’s orthodontist office and for good reason since straightening teeth is a big deal. We have the proper training and expertise to effectively straighten teeth with safe methods. Since there are multiple steps to the teeth straightening process, we are happy to answer any questions that you have after examining your child. This will give us the information we need to ensure that our answers are specific to the child’s situation so that we can recommend treatment options at the same time.
Here are some of the orthodontist questions we hear on a regular basis and our general answers to them:
When should I bring my child to a kid’s orthodontist?
You can bring your child in for an examination as early as seven years of age. At this age, we are unlikely to give the child braces but will let you know if the child will need them. We will also go over if any early orthodontic treatments will be useful in preparing the child’s mouth for braces later on.
Do I need a referral to come to you?
Not from our perspective. We are currently accepting new patients and you only need to call our office to schedule an appointment. Your insurance may require a referral so you can always check with them to make sure.
What treatments are common with younger children?
Many of the seven or eight-year-olds we see struggle with overcrowding brought on by losing their baby teeth too early or due to the size of their palate in general. In this case, we can provide them with a few simple solutions. Space maintainers, for example, can preserve the space left by the missing tooth so that the surrounding teeth cannot encroach upon this space. Space maintainers are a simple solution that can also help to create small spaces in between teeth. Additionally, some children will wear an expander to gently push their palate outwards to create more space for adult teeth.
Does my child have to get metal braces?
As a kid’s orthodontist, we typically recommend metal braces for younger children. Teens can benefit from clear aligners but they typically need to be at least sixteen-years-old to receive them due to the level of responsibility necessary for proper care. Metal braces are smaller than in the past and more effective for our younger patients.
How long will my child need braces?
There is no way to answer this without first examining the child to determine the current position of the teeth and jaw in relation to where they need to end up. Keep in mind that straightening teeth is a process that must be completed steadily. Rushing it can do damage to the roots of the teeth so slow and steady is our motto. Still, the average treatment time is around two years.
Will my child need a retainer?
Yes, as a kid’s orthodontist, we provide patients with a retainer to wear once their braces have been removed. Retention is a critical part of the process because, without it, their teeth will move back towards the initial position. Most people only need a retainer for a couple of years and some even less.
Call Manhattan Beach Orthodontics today at (310) 372-6600 to schedule an examination for your child and to ask specific questions.
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