Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and…
Can a Pediatric Dentist Perform Orthodontic Procedures for My Child?
Taking a child to the pediatric dentist early in life has many benefits. Parents will be able to know if their child needs orthodontic treatment. Usually, preventative dental care routine from an early age should prevent the need for orthodontic procedures completely. However, genetics, abnormal dental growth, injuries, and other factors beyond the parent’s control can happen. Orthodontic treatment done during the development of the child’s oral cavity is a lot more comfortable, faster, and less expensive than procedures performed during the child’s adolescent years.
Orthodontic treatment is performed for more than just aesthetics. It helps to straighten and balance the alignment of the bite, which makes oral hygiene easier. Good oral hygiene means lower risks of developing tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis. And if you are wondering if your child’s pediatric dentist can administer orthodontic treatments for the child, then yes.
The benefits of early orthodontic treatment
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists says that treating children with orthodontic issues when they are between ages four and 11 can help avert the occurrence of severe orthodontic issues during their teenage years. Treating children in that age range is the best because the child’s teeth and bones are still forming. Performing orthodontic treatment on children early in life causes less pain or discomfort. The treatment could correct issues such as overbites, ectopic eruptions, uneven spaces between the teeth, and other abnormal dental formations.
Why choose the pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists handle the child’s oral health right from infancy through adolescence. They are uniquely trained and experienced in caring for the child’s teeth, gums, and oral cavities throughout the different phases of childhood.
Children typically start to get their first set of teeth when they clock six months. By the time they hit age six or seven, the old teeth start to give way for the permanent teeth. The pediatric dentist will continually monitor the child’s development to ensure the teeth erupt properly. This means they can easily detect any issue with the child’s bite and recommend appropriate orthodontic treatment to correct the problem.
Children are not always patient and cooperative for dental procedures. However, the pediatric dentist knows how to deal with kids to make them comfortable and willing. The dentist’s office is also often set up in a way that keeps children at ease.
The orthodontic treatment provided by pediatric dentists improves the child’s confidence and makes cleaning the teeth easier. The child also will not have to worry about wearing braces during their teenage or adult years when it could be awkward or embarrassing.
Orthodontic treatments provided by the pediatric dentist
The pediatric dentist can provide custom-made orthodontic devices explicitly designed for the child’s needs. Common options include:
- Custom space maintainers to preserve the spaces left by a baby tooth lost prematurely
- Habit devices for preventing bad oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking before they cause damages to the teeth
- Early expansion appliances to correct crossbites and overbites
Parents are often advised to take their children to the pediatric dentist early in life to ensure proper development of the child’s teeth. If your child needs orthodontic treatment, the pediatric dentist will be able to make appropriate recommendations based on the child’s condition.
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