A select few people are blessed with perfectly straight teeth complimented with a perfect bite. The rest of us have had to deal with having crooked teeth or suffer through orthodontia. Not too long ago, orthodontia work was started around the age of 12-13. Just when a child was learning the ropes of junior high school, they’d get a pound of metal slapped into their mouth to make it even more interesting.
Nowadays, many orthodontists are finding it beneficial to start much earlier than this. Some orthodontists recommend orthodontia work as early as age 8. They are finding that the bones of younger children are softer and easier to mold and move than the bones of a teenager.
Each case is special and your orthodontist will consult with you and work with you on what is best for your child. There are numerous problems with tooth placement, bite and jaw size. As technology is advancing, there is also a wide array of correctional devices and techniques that can correct these problems.
It Can Be Fixed
Some issues that orthodontia is able to correct are:
- Bite problems: Overbite, underbite, crossbite and reverse bite.
- Crooked Teeth. When the teeth come in, they are not in a straight line as they should be.
- Crowding teeth/small jaw. The teeth do not have room to grow. The jaw must be widened or teeth must be pulled to make space.
- The front teeth stick out or protrude. On the playground, this is called buck teeth.
To fix these problems, many techniques and devices have been invented. Examples are:
- Braces. This is probably the most common thing used in orthodontia. Brackets are glued to the teeth, tethered with thin metal wires and tightened to straighten the teeth.
- Expanders. These are used if the jaw is too narrow. A metal expander is affixed to the roof of the mouth, along with a few back molars. Every so often, a screw is tightened and the expander pushes against the jaw, widening the roof of the mouth.
- Retainers. These are usually placed on the roof of the mouth and can pop. They are used to keep teeth from shifting.
- Spacers. A spacer is placed where a tooth should grow in. It is placed so that the other two teeth around it do no fill in and crowd the new tooth out.
- Head gear. Luckily this device is mainly used only at night now. Headgear is able to manipulate the alignment of the jaw.
All of this can seem overwhelming if you are just starting out in the world of orthodontia with your child. Make sure you find a good orthodontist. Having a good dentist like Burg Pediatric Dentistry is also important. They may communicate with your orthodontist and also must be able to support decisions with braces and other devices in your child’s mouth. When you have your first consult, your orthodontist will take x-rays and then go over a comprehensive plan for your child. He will put your mind at ease and your child will get through it all in flying colors.