What Every Parent Should Know About Orthodontics

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
June 30, 2015

mom holding young son

When you are a parent, your child's health and well-being is of the utmost importance. Being proactive and taking steps to ensure that they do not fall ill or suffer from various health problems is a must. This includes taking them to the dentist regularly so that they will not get cavities.

However, even with good dental hygiene and regular trips to the dentist, your child may still end up needing braces or other orthodontic treatment. Very few people have naturally straight teeth that require no form of intervention. The odds are that your child will need braces after their permanent teeth come in.

In most cases, the treatment that is needed is limited to braces. These are used to straighten crooked teeth and correct misaligned bites. If orthodontic treatment is not used to correct these problems when your child is a teenager, they may require much more expensive and difficult treatment as an adult. It is much easier to straighten the teeth of an adolescent than a grownup.

Braces usually consist of metal brackets that are bonded to each individual tooth and connected with a stiff, but flexible, wire. Over time, this wire is tightened and adjusted so that the teeth are subject to a steady pressure. This slowly moves them into the desired position.

Rubber bands are also used at times to link two brackets together. By doing so, more force can be exerted on the teeth and jaws so that they move more quickly into the right position. Using rubber bands can be uncomfortable at first, but in most cases, your child will quickly adjust to wearing them.

A course of orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from six months to two years, depending upon the severity of the problem. When you first consult with the orthodontist, he will conduct a thorough examination of your child's teeth and jaws to see how they are developing. Based on this examination, he will recommend a course of action.

For many families, the cost of care can be prohibitive. If you have dental insurance, your policy may cover a portion of the cost. However, it is important to realize that most dental plans have a lifetime maximum for orthodontic treatment rather than an annual maximum. Once these benefits are exhausted, your child will be ineligible for any further coverage.

It is important to work out a means of affording orthodontic are if your child needs it. Fortunately, most orthodontists are willing to work with you so that you can afford the needed course of treatment. You may be able to set up a payment plan so that you can spread the cost out over a longer period of time to make it more affordable on a monthly basis.

If you are concerned about your child's teeth, you should take them to see an orthodontist at the earliest opportunity. Even before all of their permanent teeth come in, they can still be evaluated. This way, you can start to prepare for the needed treatment.

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