What every parent needs to know about braces.

By the time your child starts second grade, it’s time to consult an orthodontist. Here are five things every parent should know about braces and orthodontic care.

1. Dentists and orthodontists are not the same. 

An orthodontist receives the same training as a dentist, and is capable of providing the same services. But after graduating from dental school, an orthodontist then will complete up to three years of additional training in tooth movement and jaw/facial development. Therefore, it would be unwise to rely solely on the opinion of your dentist when it comes to matters of orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist is a specialist with the best training to advise on these issues.  

2. Only an orthodontist can determine whether or not your child needs braces. 

We mentioned before that some parents take a wait-and-see approach to orthodontic treatment. This is a risky choice because ultimately the only person with the expertise necessary to determine if and when your child needs braces is an orthodontist. Your pediatrician and your dentist will have opinions and advice, but they should always refer you to an orthodontist who can best determine what your child needs. 

3. Every child should see an orthodontist by age seven. 

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children are evaluated by an orthodontist no later than age seven. While this may seem young to new parents, it is important to be evaluated while the child’s permanent teeth are beginning to come in and the jaw bones are still growing. An orthodontist will be able to tell if your child is at risk of developing a problem and advise you on how and when to address it.

4. Don’t wait on permanent teeth to make the first appointment. 

Some new parents mistakenly believe that a child must have all their permanent teeth before seeing an orthodontist. This is a myth that causes a lot of problems because waiting could make some orthodontic conditions more difficult to correct. 

5. Don’t fall for easy fix solutions when it comes to your child’s teeth. 

Moving teeth into their proper place is a job that cannot be rushed. Proper orthodontic treatment requires patience and time. Any product or service advertising a quick fix should be avoided at all costs. There isn’t a product on the market today that works more reliably and precisely as traditional bracket and wire braces.

We hope this list gives you the information you need to properly plan for the care and treatment of your child’s oral development. If you have any questions or would like to come in for a free consultation please contact us today at 901-756-4316. We would be happy to set up a meeting for you to come in, tour the office, and meet Dr. Piper.  

We look forward to partnering with you in your child’s health!  

Jill Piper
piperworld@aol.com