Have you ever seen a child with crooked or misaligned teeth? It is a common problem that affects many children worldwide. Not only can it impact their oral health, but it can also affect their self-esteem and confidence. That is where pediatric dentistry comes in. Pediatric dentist Dr. Alexandra Hendricks Brentwood uses different techniques and tools to correct orthodontic problems and give children the gift of a beautiful, healthy smile.
They can also guide oral hygiene, nutrition, and other factors affecting your child’s oral health and development. Let us look at how pediatric dentistry can help prevent and manage your child’s orthodontic problems.
Early intervention is an important aspect of pediatric dentistry regarding orthodontic problems in children. By identifying and addressing orthodontic problems early, before they become more severe, pediatric dentists can prevent the need for more extensive and invasive treatments later on.
Suppose your child has an orthodontic problem such as a bite, jaw, or protruding teeth, your pediatric dentist might recommend interceptive orthodontics. This technique corrects orthodontic problems in children at an early age, usually between 6 and 10. It involves using appliances, such as braces or expanders, to guide the growth of the jaws and teeth and correct bite problems.
Sometimes, a child may lose a baby tooth prematurely, which can cause the adjacent teeth to shift, leading to crowding or misalignment. Pediatric dentists can place space maintainers to keep the space open and prevent misalignment. These appliances, usually metal or plastic, can be custom-made to fit your child’s mouth.
Space maintainers can help ensure your child’s permanent teeth are properly aligned, reducing the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment. It is important to ensure that your child wears their space maintainer as directed by their pediatric dentist to achieve the best results.
Referral to Orthodontist
If your child has a severe orthodontic problem that cannot be effectively treated by their pediatric dentist alone, a referral to an orthodontist may be necessary. Orthodontists have completed additional training in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities.
The orthodontist will work with your child’s pediatric dentist to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your child’s needs. Regular visits to the orthodontist during treatment will ensure that your child’s progress is monitored and adjustments made when necessary.
Orthodontic appliances such as braces or aligners can make it more challenging for children to properly clean their teeth and gums. Food particles and plaque can easily become trapped in and around the appliances, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Oral Hygiene Education
Pediatric dentists are critical in educating children and their parents on proper oral hygiene practices during orthodontic treatment. This includes teaching them how to brush and floss effectively around their appliances. They may also provide tools such as interdental brushes or water flossers to help clean hard-to-reach areas.
Your pediatric dentists may also guide dietary habits contributing to good oral health during orthodontic treatment. For example, they may advise your child to avoid sticky or sugary foods that can increase the risk of tooth decay. Instead, they may recommend eating a balanced diet for healthy teeth and gums.
Monitoring Growth and Development
Pediatric dentists have specialized training to monitor your child’s growth and development, including oral and dental health. They can identify potential orthodontic problems that may arise as the child grows, such as malocclusions or crowded or misaligned teeth.
Regular dental check-ups are important for monitoring your child’s growth and development. Pediatric dentists typically recommend that children undergo a dental exam every six months to monitor their oral health properly.
As parents, we can take comfort in knowing that pediatric dentistry is here to help our kids thrive and smile confidently. By creating a safe and welcoming environment, pediatric dentists can help your child feel at ease and build a positive relationship with dental care that will last a lifetime.
If your child is struggling with an orthodontic problem, remember to look for a doctor you can entrust with your child’s oral and dental health. It is best to encourage your child to speak up about questions they might have during their regular dental exams.