Busting 8 Popular Myths About Kids’ Orthodontic Care
If you’re a parent thinking about orthodontic treatment for your child, you may have thought of a misconception or heard a myth from a friend. Despite the popularity of braces and orthodontics for kids, there’s still some misinformation floating around.
Here are the truths behind 8 very common misconceptions about kids’ orthodontics.
Myth 1: Straight teeth and an attractive smile are the only goal.
Orthodontic care for kids goes far beyond the aesthetic benefits of a straight smile. Having a great smile for life is significant, but the primary goal of pediatric orthodontic care is to ensure your child’s teeth have proper alignment. A properly aligned bite with straight teeth is not only a more beautiful smile, but most importantly, it’s a healthier smile.
Myth 2: You don’t need to worry about orthodontic care until your child is in junior high.
The average child doesn’t begin orthodontic treatment until junior high (around 12), but this generalization doesn’t apply to every child’s unique needs. It’s important to book your child’s first orthodontic evaluation by their seventh birthday. In some cases, early orthodontic treatment is necessary to fix alignment issues as quickly as possible. Waiting until 12 to 14 years of age for their first orthodontic appointment could mean a permanently missed window of opportunity.
Myth 3: Orthodontics hasn’t changed much since you were a child.
Braces today may look similar to the braces you may have had as a child, but the technology of kids’ orthodontic care has evolved. Today, braces are made with smaller brackets and wires, which means your child will feel more comfortable wearing them. Pediatric orthodontists are also up to date with the latest in techniques necessary to create the most efficient and effective treatment programs for kids.
Myth 4: Your child’s orthodontic treatment is going to break the bank.
Orthodontic treatment for kids is more affordable than ever for families right now. Many forms of insurance cover braces for kids when they’re recommended by an orthodontist. There are other dental savings plans that offer discounted or free braces for kids who qualify. Medical credit programs like CareCredit can also help make payments on braces or other orthodontic treatments easier for families to handle.
Myth 5: Metal braces are the only way to straighten teeth.
Metal braces are the traditional orthodontic treatment option, but they aren’t the only choice available for kids and teens. Some pediatric orthodontist offices offer tooth-colored ceramic braces in place of the classic shiny stainless steel. Invisalign is also an option for teens who are really against having metal braces.
Myth 6: After orthodontic treatment is done, my child will have straight teeth for life.
After your child’s orthodontic treatment plan is complete, it’s important that they follow through with wearing a retainer as directed by their pediatric orthodontist. Generally, your child will need to wear the retainer 24/7 (minus meals and their oral care routine) for a few months following the removal of their braces. After this period of time, your child can gradually change to wearing their retainer at night. It’s highly recommended that kids continue wearing their retainer at night indefinitely, as teeth may shift back slowly over time otherwise.
Myth 7: Braces cause tooth decay and leave white spots on my child’s teeth.
Traditional metal braces don’t cause tooth decay, white spots, or any sort of discoloration. However, your child’s oral hygiene routine is even more important when they are wearing braces. Brushing and flossing are a little tricky with braces, so it’s important to supervise your child to ensure they’re getting a thorough clean. It’s also imperative to keep up with regular dental checkups and cleanings with their pediatric dentist.
Myth 8: Any dentist or orthodontist can take care of your child’s orthodontic care.
The more skilled your child’s dental care provider is, the better results you’ll see from their orthodontic treatment program. Orthodontic care for kids is different from orthodontic care for adults, as the treatment plan needs to compensate not only for tooth movement but also the maturing jaw structure of a child or young teen. Choosing a dedicated pediatric orthodontist ensures your child is in the very best hands.
The We Make Kids Smile pediatric dentistry team will be by your child’s side during their orthodontic treatment.
Your child’s oral health depends on who you choose as their general dental care team. Opting for a dedicated pediatric dentist or dental team means your child will get a high level of care that’s specifically aimed at toddlers, kids, and teens.
The We Make Kids Smile team is eager to become your child’s dental home and ensure their oral health is at an optimal level all throughout their orthodontic care plan.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment or ask questions about starting orthodontic care for your child, you can either call our office or fill out this easy online form.