The job of an orthodontist is all about making sure tweens and teens enjoy a beautiful smile and healthy teeth that carry them into adulthood with confidence.
Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can have a negative impact on your child’s self-image and confidence.
Over time, they become difficult to keep clean, are at risk of early tooth decay, periodontal disease, and stress.
Dr. Kemper, a pediatric dentist in Louisville, KY is here to provide your kids with a healthy mouth, a beautiful facial structure, and teeth that will last them a lifetime.
What Is the Goal of Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly.
Crooked teeth and jaw that do not fit together correctly cause several problems for growing kids:
- Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean because they are often on top of one another.
- When you have crooked teeth or a protruding jaw, your teeth are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease
- Bent teeth or crooked jaws cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches and TMJ syndrome as well as neck, shoulder and back pain
Signs That Your Child Needs Braces
The best way to know if getting braces is the best course of action is to ask your dentist. They will examine your child’s mouth, assess what problems need to be addressed, and determine if braces will be able to properly fix it or if other orthodontic care is necessary.
Braces can fix several issues including the following:
- Overbite: This is where the upper front teeth are too far forward, sticking over the lower teeth, commonly called “buck teeth.”
- Underbite: Sometimes the lower teeth are too far forward, and the upper teeth are too far back, resulting in somewhat of a “bulldog” appearance.
- Crossbite: You may notice the upper teeth do not come down properly as they should when biting, this is a crossbite.
- Open bite: If you have a space between your biting surfaces, this is an open bite. It could be in the front, side, or back.
- Misplaced Midline: When your upper front teeth don’t line up with your lower teeth, you have a misplaced midline.
- Spacing: If you have missing teeth, or your teeth don’t fill in your mouth, this causes spacing issues.
- Crowding: Sometimes there are too many teeth and too little space, resulting in crowding.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces are the most common method of orthodontic treatment.
Braces work by putting subtle, but steady pressure on the mouth. This pressure is created by a series of brackets and wires placed by an orthodontist.
Over time, this pressure on the front, back, or sides of the teeth can move them into their proper position.
While braces are effective for anyone, of any age, they are most effective when a child is younger and can give them a smile they will enjoy for life.
Benefits of Braces
There are several benefits your child will gain from orthodontic care.
Straight, beautiful teeth are just the tip of the iceberg.
- Improved ability to chew food: If your teeth and jaw are not properly straight and aligned, chewing food efficiently can be a problem. You end up swallowing larger bites than you should, leaving the stomach a big job of both breaking down and digesting it. Proper alignment of the teeth contributes to adequate chewing of your food, making digestion easier.
- Alleviation of speech impairment: If your child has a hard time making different sounds, it could be due to their teeth. Having straightened teeth improves the way you sound words and speak fluently.
- Easier to brush, clean and floss teeth: When the teeth are straight, it’s easier to brush, clean, and floss properly to adequately clean your teeth.
- Reduced cavities and periodontal disease: Braces can help space out your teeth enough, so they get the proper cleaning and care they need, reducing the frequency of cavities and disease.
- Reduced grinding and chipping of teeth: When the teeth are crooked, it’s easy for kids to grind or chip them without even trying. This leads to bigger orthodontic issues that can be prevented completely with the use of braces.
- Reduced risk of injury from protruding teeth: Braces can be particularly helpful for protruding upper teeth that are vulnerable during accidents.
- Improved Self-esteem and confidence: While no kid is necessarily excited to get braces, they play a key role in the confidence of our young people by creating a great smile.