Regardless of your family size, oral hygiene and your smile should always be a priority. If you have kids, extra special care is required to achieve the best possible long-term results. Check out the information below regarding ways to prioritize your family’s oral hygiene while also making sure everyone has a beautiful smile this year.
Take Your Child to an Orthodontist by Age Seven
If you have children, each one should visit an orthodontist by the age of seven. You don’t need a referral from a dentist, you can simply schedule an appointment at one of our 5 Houston area locations. Depending on the type of insurance you have, our staff will be happy to verify your coverage at no extra fee to you.
Why is it necessary to visit an orthodontist by the age of seven? For starters, a dentist may not assess the condition of your child’s teeth from the same perspective as an orthodontist. A dentist is looking at immediate dental issues while an orthodontist is looking at long-term issues that will impact their permanent teeth. Orthodontists have a different set of requirements and assessment tools. They also have a different type and level of training than dentists.
Another difference is that most orthodontists will take photos and x-rays that are panoramic. This will provide the images and information they need to identify problems that may arise in the future. For instance, when your child’s permanent teeth are growing in, an orthodontist can evaluate more than just the surface of the gums, they can examine to roots and determine if any teeth are missing or growing in the wrong direction.
When visiting an orthodontist, there are several possibilities for what might happen. In many instances, no treatment is necessary. Sometimes treatment is required at a future date. The final potential outcome is that early treatment is needed and you’ll get started as soon as possible. Whichever the outcome, you can work with the orthodontist to make sure you’re happy with the recommended plan of care.
If You Have a Retainer, Be Sure to Wear It
Another way to make sure you and your family members have a wonderful smile is by ensuring retainers are worn. It’s common for people to set aside their retainer and not wear it for long periods of time. If you have a retainer, it’s important to set a good example for the kids by wearing it often. Regardless of your age, wearing your retainer is an important aspect of your orthodontia treatment. It’s something that should happen for a lifetime if you want your teeth to stay where they belong.
Wearing a retainer is just as important as brushing your teeth if you don’t want them to shift. If there is a problem with your retainer and it doesn’t fit anymore, you’ll need to get another one that accommodates your teeth if they have shifted.
Find an Orthodontist You Can Trust
The goal of an orthodontist is to ensure your jaws and teeth are aligned and there are a lot of qualified professionals from which to choose. For one, make sure that your orthodontist is board certified. A board certified orthodontist is an orthodontist who has voluntarily gone through hundreds of additional hours of preparation to demonstrate their judgment, skills and knowledge required for providing the highest level of patient care. They have achieved board certification through the American Board of Orthodontics, the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association and in affiliation with the American Association of Orthodontists.
It’s important to have a beautiful smile at every age, which is why visiting an orthodontist should be a family affair.