Prevention is the best approach to most problems.
By cleaning up a small amount each day, you can keep your home tidy and neat. By exercising and eating healthy, you reduce your risk of developing heart health problems.
By visiting the dentist regularly, you greatly reduce your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and braces.
(Wait a minute. Did we write braces?)
Yes, let us explain. Preventive orthodontics are one of the many services that we offer at our dentist office for families in and around Red Bank, NJ.
Denise DiBona, D.D.S., knows that early orthodontic intervention can reduce and sometimes eliminate the need for braces or other Phase 2 orthodontic care.
The best thing you can do for your child is to bring her or him to our office for routine visits. We will monitor changes in her or his teeth from visit to visit. This can help us identify potential alignment issues early.
However, we will gladly schedule a consultation for children if you have any concerns about how your child’s jaw and teeth are developing.
If your child is a good candidate for preventive orthodontic care, we will discuss what options will help your daughter or son’s teeth come in straighter.
As we said in the introduction, preventive steps are often the best approach.
In orthodontic care, this is sometimes called Phase I orthodontics.
One of the first things we will watch is the development of the arch of your child’s mouth and its expansion as she or he grows. If there is a problem that could lead to crowding, for example, there are steps we can take to affect the arch’s growth.
In addition to helping with alignment, this could reduce the need to extract teeth due to overcrowding as your child gets older.
This kind of treatment also has the potential to reduce your child’s risk of developing sleep apnea later in life.
Another aspect of preventive orthodontics is called dentofacial orthopedics.
If your child loses a tooth earlier than she or he should, then we may use spacers until your child’s permanent tooth is ready to erupt. The concern here is that the neighboring primary teeth may start to drift into the empty space, which can affect how each of those permanent teeth erupts as well.
Oral appliances can be used to redirect the position of your child’s teeth to reduce the misalignments and bite issues (such as overbites and underbites) before the permanent teeth have completely emerged.
The goal of this kind of treatment, again, is to reduce the need for orthodontic care as your child gets older.
Even with preventive orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, it’s still possible that your child will need Phase II orthodontic care.
The may mean traditional braces, or it may mean using something like Invisalign®. Either way, the less severe your child’s misalignment, the shorter time she or he will be needed to complete this Phase II treatment.
With any orthodontic care, our focus on getting the results that you and your child want. In some cases, traditional braces will be your best option. In other cases, Invisalign will be able to accomplish those same results with fewer hassles.
As part of your child’s preparation for orthodontic care, we will examine X-rays and his or her mouth. As noted earlier, this is something we will be watching already if you are making visits to our office for routine cleanings and examinations.
Traditional braces are needed for the most severe issues. Through early intervention, you may be able to prevent those kinds of severe misalignments.
This can open the door to using Invisalign plastic aligners instead. If you have read our previous posts, then you know we consider Invisalign an excellent option for many patients.
They are simple to use. They aren’t as painful as braces, and they are more convenient for the wearer.
The aligners are discreet (thus their nickname of “invisible braces”), and they can be removed for up to two hours each day. This will allow your child to continue eating the foods that she or he loves and keep brushing and flossing her or his teeth without needing any special tools.
Get Moving In The Right Direction
If you knew that you were heading off course while driving, you would make an effort to get back on track as soon as possible. This will save you time in the long run.
The same is true for misaligned teeth. The sooner you act to get them moving in the right direction, the less time and effort will be needed to correct them later.