At what age to bring the child to the orthodontist?
What is "orthodontist"?
Orthodontists (from Greek: ortho- "correct" and odons- "tooth") is a specialist in dentistry that deals with correcting anomalies in the alignment of the teeth and the growth of facial bones. The goal of this adjustment is to improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth and jaws, and also improvement of the periodontal health, the sense of self, the breathing and the ability to chew food.
Causes of anomalies in the teeth-jaw system
Deformations of the teeth and facial bones may be the result of heredity, illness, injury, bad habits or any other type of interference. There are various types of anomalies related to the number, shape and size of the teeth, their position relative to one another, etc.
Principle of orthodontic treatment
It is known that when a controlled long-term pressure is applied to the teeth they move to the direction of the pressure. Once the external impact ceases, next to each tooth an ossicle is formed, which allowed it to stay in its new position. To move the teeth in the desired direction, removable or fixed orthodontic appliances are used.
The best age for a first visit to the orthodontist
The age between 6 and 8 years (when milk teeth are completely replaced by permanent ones) is considered the most appropriate time for the first checkup with an orthodontist. This age, however, is not an absolute rule. Sometimes the intervention of a specialist is needed much earlier, so it is important that each parent monitors the state of the child’s teeth. Premature fall of a milk tooth, an emergence of tooth in an unusual place and imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed are some of the signals suggesting an emergency dental consultation.
Tooth and jaw defects can be removed at mature and even at old age, but the earlier you start the treatment, the easier and shorter it will be.
Essence of the treatment
Prior to the use of orthodontic appliances a thorough dental examination must be done, as well as an analysis of the casts and the radiographs of the teeth. Depending on the type of tooth defect, and the age of the child, the treatment may be conducted in 1 or 2 steps. In establishing facial deformation when the little patient still has his milk teeth or is in the period of their replacement with permanent ones, a removable appliance is used. It consists of a plastic plate, made especially for the particular case. After several years, it can be proceeded to the second stage of the treatment of correcting misaligned teeth, by placing a permanent orthodontic appliance or the so-called “braces”. Braces are fixed onto each tooth using an adhesive and connected with each other through a metal arc. In the absence of jaw defects, the treatment is single phased, i.e. it goes directly to the use of braces. Treatment can last up to three years, while both types of devices require periodic visits to the orthodontist.
Recommendations to the patients
Wearing the appliance has some inconvenience, but the result after its removal justifies them completely. Braces create conditions for attachment of food on the surface of the teeth, so it is very important to observe strict oral hygiene. Toothpaste, mouthwash and specialized brushes should become an integral part of the treatment, so it is not vitiated by dental decay and inflammation.