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Age 7 - The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-up

October 8th, 2013

seven year oldsEvery October, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) takes the spotlight during National Orthodontic Health Month. It’s a time when orthodontists reach out to patients and their community to increase public awareness about the benefits of orthodontic care.

As part of that effort, Bel Air Orthodontics is spreading the AAO’s message about the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation. Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons why all children should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child get an orthodontic screening no later than age seven.

Why is age seven considered the optimal time for screening?

By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth making it an ideal time for evaluation. With early screening, Dr. Godwin can spot subtle problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth. While many young patients may not be ready to start treatment, early evaluation allows us to choose the optimal time to begin treatment and provides a greater opportunity for an effective treatment outcome.

What are the potential advantages of interceptive treatment?

Early treatment allows Dr. Godwin to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems

Problems to Watch for in Growing Children

If you notice any of the following in your child, it’s time to schedule an orthodontic evaluation:Problems to watch for in growing children

  • Early/late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age 7 or 8

Additional information on early interceptive treatment is available at the AAO’s website. To view and/or download their handout entitled “Problems to Watch for in Growing Children” click the image above.

Orthodontics does more than create beautiful smile – it creates a healthier you. If you have questions about your child’s dental development, contact our office at 410-838-2244 to schedule an evaluation.

What Should I Ask During My Consultation?

July 11th, 2013

ASK-CONSULTATIONIf you have been thinking about orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment, your first step is a visit to our office for an orthodontic consultation. During the initial consultation, Dr. Godwin will address your questions, concerns, and talk about a treatment plan that would best suit your case.

Because we want you to feel prepared and in charge of your orthodontic treatment decisions, consider the following questions when you visit for your initial consultation:

  • If I do need some adjustments to my teeth, what options will I have besides braces?
  • What kind of preparation is needed to get braces?
  • What are the factors that determine how long I have to wear braces?
  • How long will my treatment last, and how often do I visit you for orthodontic adjustments?
  • Who will be involved in the orthodontic care? Who can I expect to see during my adjustment visits?
  • How will braces affect my lifestyle? Foods I can eat? Activities I can participate in?
  • Can I expect any discomfort when getting braces?
  • What is the correct expectation in terms of outcome?
  • How much will my orthodontic care cost?

Your initial orthodontic consultation may just be the first step in relieving concerns about the appearance of your smile or discomfort you are experiencing. Going in with the right questions will help you to understand the entire process, the state-of-the-art treatment options available to you, and prepare you do do your part for your own dental health, ultimately leaving you with a great smile!

For more information on what to expect during your initial consultation, visit our website at www.belairortho.com/your-first-visit. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation, contact us at info@belairortho.com or call our scheduling coordinators at 410-838-2244.

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