All About Orthodontics

For regular teeth and oral health, patients visit a dentist. However, for specialized needs related to jaw alignment, teeth position and appearance, an orthodontist is preferred. It was one of the first specialty fields in dentistry. Orthodontists train more than regular dentists by 2 to 4 years. Being a specialty field, dentists recommend their patients to orthodontists when such a need arises. This field is wide in its scope but mostly, it cover the following –

OrthodonticsCorrection of Teeth Position and Jaw Misalignment – When teeth alignment is skewed in the mouth, it is called ‘malocclusion’ and it is an orthodontist’s field of expertise. In this issue, there might be an overlap between the upper teeth and the lower teeth. This is called an overbite and it might be minor or severe. An under bite, where the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth, is also treated by an orthodontist. In overbites and under bites, the jaw is often misaligned as well.

Other issues that the patient might face include changes in face due to malocclusion, problems with biting or chewing, speech issues such a lisping or slurring, and breathing problems where the patient prefers the mouth instead of the nose for breathing.

Braces Available With Orthodontists – The treatment of malocclusion includes braces for correcting teeth positioning. These braces can be made from metal but invisible braces are also available these days. The teeth are aligned to their proper place over a course of year but sometimes, it can take longer than that. The patient has to remove the braces while eating or drinking foods and liquids that are too hot or cold in case of invisible braces. For metal braces, regular cleaning is recommended because food can get stuck in. Ceramic and colored braces are also used by orthodontists for the same.

Capping, Bonding and Reshaping of Teeth – For the treatment of crooked teeth and improper bites, orthodontist can bond the teeth, cap them and reshape them using state of the art technology. For stabilizing the jaw bone, plates and wires are used. Surgery is also one of the treatment options available to patients who wish to shorten their jaw or reshape it for the treatment of malocclusion. For the treatment of overcrowding teeth, some teeth might be removed.

If the problem is caught early in children or young adults, the treatment is simpler and less expensive. Malocclusion is a disorder that is hereditary in nature.

When To Schedule Your Childs First Dental Appointment

Parents often wonder when they should schedule their child’s first dental appointment and teeth cleaning. In the sea of pediatrician’s appointments and exciting series of baby firsts, the dentist is one place parents might not think to visit.

However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents take their children to the pediatric dentist as soon as their first baby teeth appear. That usually that occurs when kids are between 3 and 9 months old.

Visiting the dentist early in life for teeth cleaning helps children keep their baby teeth healthy and avoid cavities and other problems, such as tooth decay. Early visits also help keep dental costs low over a child’s first five years of life. According to the AAPD, children who visit the pediatric dentist during the first year of their lives see 40 percent lower dental costs over the next four years.

Despite the importance of visiting pediatric dentists, many parents are unaware of just how soon they should take their kids for a visit.

AAPD, in a 2010 survey, found that 97 percent of parents didn’t know that visits to the pediatric dentist were recommended so soon.

Beyond taking their children to the dentist, AAPD recommends that parents visit a dentist to get their adult teeth checked for cavities before the baby is born. If parents have good dental care habits, they will pass them onto their children.

Once the baby is born, AAPD recommends that parents wipe their baby’s mouth thoroughly after every time the child eats to encourage the growth of healthy baby teeth and prevent cavities. Healthy baby teeth promote healthy adult teeth later in life.

Baby teeth last into a child’s toddler years, and so ensuring those teeth remain healthy is very important. Parents should watch for signs their kids’ teeth need extra attention. Those signs include white spots or discoloration on the teeth. Those spots can lead to decay, which can cause pain or infection. AAPD says tooth decay in children can lead to lifelong consequences or, in rare cases, even death.

According to the dental experts at Natural Smiles, parents should begin flossing their children’s teeth as soon as two baby teeth grow in a row. Parents will also need to brush their children’s teeth as soon as baby teeth appear. Parents can expect to brush their kids’ teeth until the child reaches 5 or 7 years of age.

It’s not until 5 or 7 years old that children have the dexterity to brush their own teeth, according to AAPD.

To promote healthy baby teeth and later on, adult teeth, AAPD urges parents to avoid giving their young kids juice because sugary drinks can cause tooth decay. Instead, give your children water to drink.

Beyond making sure to take good care of your kids’ baby teeth so they grow into healthy adult teeth, the AAPD recommends having a go-to pediatric dentist so that parents have someone to call in case of an emergency.

It can be difficult to tell whether a child has damaged his teeth, and having a pediatric dentist on hand helps you assuage your fears that the worst-case scenario has occurred.