Orthodontics for Growing Smiles: Properly timed care is best

Pediatric dentists are ideally suited to detect and time orthodontic treatment for growing smiles. Orthodontics is the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion, the misalignment of teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatment straightens and aligns teeth and jaws through the use of orthodontic appliances, such as braces, elastics, aligners, head gears, retainers, etc. Properly aligned teeth and jaws reduces the risk of dental caries, gum disease, and traumatic injuries.

An Orthodontic Evaluation Involve:  The initial assessment is usually made during a normal preventive visit exam. If your child will need orthodontic treatment, a records visit will be recommended and can be scheduled.  This visit is easy for most children. It includes x-rays of your child’s jaw alignment and unerupted teeth.  Dental impressions and oral-facial photographs will be made.  This is used to best see the positions and relationships of the teeth and jaws.

Dr. McCorkle will study the information and prepare options and recommendations for your child’s treatment.  It will include a diagnosis and plan of action.

Orthodontic Consultation: Next, a consultation visit will be scheduled where different options and their pros and cons may be mentioned for you to consider so that you can make an informed decision. We welcome your questions and hope you will share all your concerns about treatment.  This is an opportunity to for all your questions to be answered so that you understand the entire process. Fees of each option will be reviewed.(Link to Payment Info)

Beginning Orthodontic Treatment: Once a plan of action is decided upon, your child may begin the treatment. The plans will likely include braces, but may also include separators, elastics, a palatal expander, and other orthodontic appliances to move the teeth and jaw into proper positions. After the initial visits to place the appliances, your child will usually need visits every six weeks for progress assessment, adjustments, and wire changes.

Orthodontic Treatment Duration: There is no set amount of time for wearing braces. The average amount of time needed is usually 18 to 24 months.  

Retention Phase: After the braces come off, there is often a removable retainer to wear to help keep the teeth in their proper place.

Retainer Instructions : TWO RULES

  • As long as the appliance is worn correctly, it will fit.
  • It must only be in one of two places: either in your child’s mouth; OR in the case, in your child’s pocket; nowhere else, to avoid losing or breaking it.  

Only touch it with a toothbrush, and keep wearing it.  Bring your child’s retainer to each visit so it can be cleaned, checked and adjusted as needed.

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