When it comes to our children, we all want the very best for them.
No matter whether it’s helping them meet their very first milestones, finding a sport that is perfect for them or if it’s helping them be the best person they can be, it’s all important.
The oral health of our children is no different; we’re all brilliant at getting them on the right path with brushing and visits to the dentist but we’re quite unsure about when (or whether) they need to see an orthodontist.
This was confirmed in research we conducted with MoM Members just recently so we thought we’d give you the top 5 reasons it’s a good idea to visit an orthodontist.
1. Orthodontists are specialists
As mums we all want the best advice when it comes to straightening our kids’ teeth. Even if you love your dentist, it’s still worth a visit to the orthodontist (your dentist may even recommend it).
Orthodontists are experts in their field, specialising in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities to help correctly align teeth, bites and jaws, including straightening crooked teeth.
An orthodontist has been specifically trained and is the most qualified and experienced person to treat issues to do with the alignment of teeth and jaws to ensure you, or your child, ends up with a healthy and confident smile.
2. Your smile is one of your most important features
Being confident is often a game changer for adults but also children. And of course we want our children to be the most confident they can be – it can set them up for life!
I’ve always said that “a big, confident smile is the first thing a person notices. So if helping my kids get the best smile they can means visiting the orthodontist, let’s do it”.
Having confidence in your smile can positively change your life, which is why talking to an orthodontist is so important.
A beautiful, straight smile not only means your teeth are easier to clean and your gums are healthier, it can also help exude confidence and reduce stress.
3. The physical and health reasons
So we’ve talked about the psychological benefits of a big, beautiful smile but orthodontic treatments can also address many issues that could result in problems including:
- Bad bites that can actually damage teeth and gums over time
- Crooked, misaligned and overcrowded teeth which can be very hard to clean resulting in cavities
- Speech, breathing or chewing difficulties
- Misaligned jaws (which can affect your facial profile)
An orthodontist can also help in the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea and can help manage persistent thumb and finger sucking habits in children.
4. No one size fits all anymore
If you’re anything like me, going to the orthodontist in my teens meant ‘train track’ braces and if you were really unlucky, all kinds of weird braces and headgear! Traumatic to say the least.
These days there are so many options available; orthodontic treatments are now designed to be as unobtrusive and comfortable as possible so patients can get on with their lives without embarrassment or discomfort.
While braces are still an extremely effective way of straightening teeth and achieving a great smile, modern orthodontic treatment options now include clear braces, lingual (inside) braces and clear aligners (for example Invisalign aligners).
A specialist orthodontist has the training, experience and complete suite of treatment options to give you the confidence you’re in the best hands possible.
5. Kids and orthodontics
Here are two facts that now have me thinking I should have been doing something a few years ago …
Did you know that young kids with crooked teeth or bad bites can be seen by an orthodontist around the age of 7-8yrs?
Did you also know that that no referral is needed to see an orthodontist?
No, I didn’t know either of those facts. But apparently I’m not alone – most Aussie parents are a little confused when it comes to understanding orthodontics.
What is important to understand is that some (but not all) orthodontic problems can be easily corrected when treated in young growing jaws, well before all the adult teeth are through.
Waiting until the teenage years to see an orthodontist for the first time could result in further worsening of these early problems resulting in more complicated and invasive treatment methods later on.
The thing is that there’s a good chance your child won’t need any orthodontic treatment. But taking your child to see an orthodontist between the ages of 7-10 will give the orthodontist a chance to assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws and determine if and whether, early intervention is indicated.
So with all that in mind, I think we need to add a trip to the orthodontist to our list. They do get very busy (especially during school holidays) so the best thing to do is just give your local orthodontist a call. Or ask other Mum friends who’ve been through the process who they could recommend.
This post is brought to you as part of the Mouths of Mums and Invisalign partnership; After witnessing the dramatic difference alignment work with an orthodontist has made for her oldest son in terms of his overall confidence, MoM Founder Nikki and her daughter Emma have both just embarked on their own alignment journey with an Invisalign treatment. We will be bringing you a series of articles and videos over the coming months so you can follow their Invisalign journey.
For more information on an Invisalign treatment, visit www.invisalign.com.au