Orthodontics used to be carried out on teenagers. But things have changed and today, children start orthodontic treatment at a younger age to achieve a long-lasting and healthy smile. Adults also undergo treatment to help resolve dental problems and give them a confidence boost. Finding orthodontics near me can be a daunting prospect, but it’s something that may need to be done for the health of your teeth and jaws.
Why Children’s Orthodontics Is Important
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that concentrates on correcting jaw and teeth alignment. Dentists and orthodontists initially undergo the same training, but an orthodontist does a few extra years of specialising. Children’s orthodontics helps prevent illnesses and diseases that can happen when teeth are misaligned and crowded.
Many children suffer from some form of malocclusion or alignment problems. An orthodontist can help boost a child’s confidence by straightening their smile. While you should take your child to the dentist for routine examinations and to treat cavities as they happen, an orthodontist can help with more advancement treatment.
When to Visit an Orthodontist
Your little one’s dentist might recommend you book a consultation with an orthodontist if your child has any of the below issues:
- Crooked teeth – this is usually caused by overcrowded teeth. The best way to deal with crooked teeth is to straighten out at a young age. That’s why braces are often the go-to treatment.
- Crossbite, underbite or overbite – if these orthodontic problems aren’t fixed, your child risks developing issues with chewing, inflammation and headaches. It could also place a lot of stress on the jawbone.
- Spaces between the teeth – diastema or gaps between the teeth is a common occurrence. It often happens between the two front teeth and doesn’t always require orthodontic treatment. If you want to help your child’s smile, though, you may want to discuss closing the gaps.
- Open bite – an open bite occurs when the top and bottom teeth don’t meet when biting down. This is also called malocclusion and can be corrected with the right orthodontic treatment.
Finding Orthodontics Near Me
So, you may be asking, “how can I find children’s orthodontics near me?” Below, we discuss a few important pointers for finding the perfect professional for your children.
Check the Credentials
As we mentioned, there’s a difference between the type and amount of training orthodontists and dentists received. Orthodontists go through a couple more years of training to specialise in their field. While a dentist is perfect for keeping your little one’s teeth in tip-top condition, a licensed and experienced orthodontist is the best choice for shifting their teeth into the correct alignment.
Read Reviews on Orthodontics Near Me
Orthodontists often have testimonials on their website, but those are selected from satisfied parents and patients. To find a reputable orthodontist in your area, dig a little deeper and read reviews both online and offline. Finding page upon page of negative reviews with just a few positive comments here and there should be a red flag.
Try to look for patterns in the reviews. For instance, if a family struggles with scheduling or payment options, it may be time to look for another orthodontist. On the other hand, you may find parents raving about comfortable chairside manners and excellent results.
Either way, look for what other people have to say so you can make an informed decision.
Ask to See Samples
It’s important to keep in mind that different orthodontists have different skill levels and techniques. You should ask to see before and after pictures of real patients that your preferred orthodontist has helped. While their website reviews and photos can be helpful, it’s worth asking to see examples of the procedure your child needs.
During your initial consultation with the orthodontist, your child will receive a full evaluation and a tailored treatment plan. Compare this to what other professionals have recommended. If there’s a significant difference, ask the orthodontist what technique they think might be best.
Discuss Payment Options
It’s only natural for you to worry about the cost of your child’s treatment since orthodontics can get expensive. Talk to your proposed orthodontist about insurance plans and whether or not they offer flexible payment plans.
Ideally, the right orthodontist will offer a payment plan that suits you and ensures your child gets the best possible treatment. It’s also important that they’re upfront about the total cost of your child’s treatment. Surprises do happen, like losing a retainer, but you need to have an overall total in mind so you can budget accordingly.
Find Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics Near Me
Children who receive orthodontic treatment early on get to enjoy the best possible benefits. Many children, it’s estimated, can benefit from braces. Having your little one evaluated by the age of seven can help stop orthodontic problems in their tracks while achieving a beautiful and healthy smile.
While your child may not need braces until they’re a little older, choosing the right professional for the job that knows how to work with children to create a gorgeous smile gives your child a head start towards a lifetime of good oral health.
Every child is unique, and so will their treatment and orthodontic development be. According to many orthodontists and dentists, the most important development is the advent of early-intervention orthodontics. This involves treatment planning when jaw growth and facial development is still happening, rather than trying to straighten out crooked teeth with adult orthodontics.
While your child’s dentist may offer referrals for local orthodontists, the above tips can help you find the perfect fit for your family and your budget.
Taking time to find an orthodontist who will treat your child is worth the patience and effort. Straight teeth are so much more than just nice to look at – they can help keep your little one’s mouth healthy for the rest of their life.
Book a consultation at Geoffrey Wexler Orthodontist in Toorak or Frankston today and get a head start on your little one’s oral health.