WHEN TO BRING YOUR CHILD FOR AN ORTHODONTIC EVALUATION
Pediatric Dental Specialists–Hastings recommends that parents consider an orthodontic evaluation for their child around the age of 7 years old. We use an interceptive approach to orthodontics, focusing on diagnosing and addressing potential issues early in the child’s life. This includes creating space for the permanent teeth and ensuring the jaw is growing properly to prevent occlusion (bite) issues in the future. This proactive approach to orthodontics creates better outcomes for children and their families. It means your child will likely avoid major orthodontic problems in their adolescent years, and it will save you money on dental treatments in the long term.
The Orthodontic Treatment Process
WHAT TO EXPECT
An orthodontic workup involves a thorough evaluation of your child’s teeth and jaws to identify any malocclusion (bite problem). This is the first step in determining the best path forward for treatment and appliances. We will take panoramic images, cephalometric X-rays, study models, and photographs. These are all useful records because they give us a baseline that we can compare progress against to track treatment results. At the next appointment, the orthodontic consultation, we will review our recommended treatment plan, including cost, and discuss financing options. Once you are comfortable moving forward, your child’s treatment can begin. We offer various orthodontic options, including popular choices like Invisalign, to provide effective and discreet solutions that fit your child’s lifestyle and preferences.
HOLDING SPACE FOR THE PERMANENT TEETH
While some people may say losing baby teeth prematurely doesn’t matter, baby teeth actually play a very important role. They are placeholders for the permanent teeth and help guide them into the correct locations. So if your little one loses a baby tooth because of an injury or fall before it was due to fall out naturally, a space maintainer might be necessary. Space maintainers play a vital role in preserving the spaces needed for the eruption of permanent teeth, helping your child avoid future dental complications and ensuring proper alignment.
FROM CROOKED TEETH TO BEAUTIFUL SMILES
Braces have been a reliable orthodontic treatment method for decades. They are great for fixing a host of misalignment issues, including crooked teeth, crowding, and gaps. Traditional braces straighten the teeth and correct the bite using metal brackets connected by wires. Gradual tightening of the braces over time gently moves the teeth into the desired position. Braces are not removable, so they are worn 24 hours a day for a period of time that will vary depending on your child’s treatment plan. Typically this is in the range of one to three years. The team at Pediatric Dental Specialists–Hastings will provide a detailed treatment plan so you can track your child’s progress at each appointment.
CORRECTING NARROW PALATES AND OVERCROWDING
Palatal expanders are orthodontic appliances used to fix space-related issues like crossbites and overcrowding. They work by gently widening the upper jaw to create more space for the teeth and improve alignment. This also helps the patient avoid having to have teeth extracted to create extra space. Palatal expanders are custom made to suit your child’s mouth and adjusted over time to ensure expansion happens gently. Using palatal expanders can fix problems early in childhood to help prevent the need for complex treatments in the future.
STRAIGHTENING SMILES DISCREETLY
Invisalign clear aligners offer a more discreet way to straighten the teeth compared to traditional metal braces. They help to align the teeth gradually with minimal discomfort using a series of custom-made aligners. Because they are clear, they are an ideal choice for image-conscious teens. Invisalign aligners are removable, so your child can continue to eat all their favorite foods and floss and brush normally. Invisalign is most effective for minor to moderate orthodontic issues. Complex cases may be better suited for traditional braces. If you would like to find out if your child is a good candidate for Invisalign, contact us for an evaluation with one of our pediatric dental specialists.
KEEPING CORRECTED TEETH IN CHECK
Retainers are typically used as a maintenance treatment once a child is finished with their braces or clear aligner therapy. Retainers hold corrected teeth in the right positions and stop them from shifting back to their original places. For a retainer to be effective, it does need to be worn consistently. If your child needs a retainer, your pediatric dentist will discuss this with you as part of their custom orthodontic treatment plan.
There are options for that unexpected dental procedure.
We want to make it easy for you to get your child the dental care they need, with or without insurance.
We work with your insurance to maximize your benefits.
No insurance? We also accept other forms of payment, such as credit cards, cash, and check. We also accept CareCredit, which offers flexible monthly payments, with zero interest for six or 12 months on larger charges.
Are you looking for a pediatric dental specialist to take care of your child’s orthodontic needs?
The team at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Hastings is experienced in all aspects of orthodontic treatment. We love helping our young patients improve their smiles so they can avoid major dental problems in the future. Additionally, the same team of doctors providing comprehensive orthodontic care at our Hastings location are also providing comprehensive orthodontic care at our Grand Island location. So you have the option of scheduling your child’s orthodontic appointments at either location for your convenience.