An orthodontist is a dentist that ensures that the teeth and jaw are in proper alignment. Orthodontic treatments prevent and treat irregularities in the smile, like misaligned or crooked teeth. However, orthodontic treatments provide more than straighter smiles; with orthodontic care, we can prevent problems like gum disease and tooth decay. It can be difficult to clean between misaligned teeth as plaque and tartar can build on the teeth and gums.
Orthodontic services for children in our Worcester, MA office can include clear and metal braces, two-phase treatment, and appliances that aid treatment. We work with orthodontists Dr. Menachem Roth and Dr. Roberto Carvalho to provide treatments for children and teenagers.
Why Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?
For the most part, when you ask someone why a person needs braces, it’s because they need to “fix” crooked teeth and create a beautiful smile. But that’s only part of the equation. While we love giving kids gorgeous smiles, our main concern is the health and function of their teeth.
Crooked, crowded teeth can cause numerous dental issues, including:
- Dental decay and gum disease: Crowded teeth are difficult to clean properly with a toothbrush and floss, resulting in a build-up of plaque and calculus, also known as tartar. Tartar is hard, calcified plaque that can only be removed with professional dental tools. If the plaque and calculus aren’t removed, they can contribute to dental decay and gum disease.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder: Misaligned teeth may lead to a misaligned bite, which puts pressure on the jaw joints. The pressure can lead to muscle irritation, inflammation, pain, chronic headaches, or migraines.
- Cracked, chipped, and broken teeth: Increased bite pressure can crack teeth, eventually creating chipped teeth and even broken cusps. Sometimes, if a crack is deep enough, it can irritate the nerve, in which case your child would need nerve treatment and a dental crown.
When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children receive an orthodontic screening by age 7. Early orthodontic care can address problems like overcrowding, dental trauma, and imbalance. In addition, we can evaluate how their adult teeth emerge and align at each dental check-up and cleaning appointment. If we notice that the teeth aren’t aligning properly, we will recommend an orthodontic evaluation.
Sometimes, a single orthodontic treatment plan is required to correct the malocclusion. However, your child may need to have phased treatment, which includes braces when they still have mixed dentition (baby teeth and adult teeth) and then again when they have all of their adult teeth. Addressing malocclusions early can prevent long-term problems. While adults can get braces, the process takes a bit longer and can be harder to schedule around work or family.
Our Complete Orthodontic Services in Worcester, MA
Our dental office provides many orthodontic treatments to help patients achieve healthy smiles. We provide these orthodontic services for children and teenagers:
Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces that uses clear aligners to straighten teeth. These clear braces offer more discreet treatment for teenagers with mild to moderately crooked teeth. Invisalign aligners are also removable, so patients can eat the foods they love without restrictions.
Our office utilizes orthodontic appliances that aid in orthodontic treatment. We use appliances like elastics (rubber bands), retainers, and spacers for different needs. These appliances can apply pressure to straighten teeth, retain the appearance of straight teeth, or hold space for the primary teeth to grow.
A two-phase orthodontic treatment combines tooth straightening and physical changes in the structure of the jaw and face. During this treatment, we provide orthodontic treatment to children two separate times. We recommend a two-phase treatment for children to preserve space for unerupted teeth, ensure proper jaw bone growth, and prevent future orthodontic issues that impact the teeth and bite. Early intervention, like a two-phase treatment, can be important for children when it comes to orthodontic care.
Types of Dental Braces
We offer clear braces and metal braces in-office. Typically, we recommend clear Invisalign aligners for teenagers. Our Invisalign treatment for teens can offer space for adult teeth to erupt and offer more replacement aligners than adult treatment. Metal braces are a traditional option for patients with mild, moderate, and severe orthodontic problems. Traditional metal braces use brackets, wires, and rubber bands to shift teeth into a straighter position.
We will thoroughly examine your child’s smile to determine the type of dental braces that will benefit them the most. Oral hygiene is also an important part of orthodontic care; we are happy to help patients learn the best tips to keep their teeth, gums, and braces clean.
Schedule a Dental Consultation
Does your child need orthodontic care for crooked teeth and a misaligned bite? Ask us about orthodontic treatment options. Call Children’s Dental Specialties today at (508) 625-5534. You can also request a dental appointment with us online. We serve patients in Worcester, Shrewsbury, Grafton, Northborough, and Boylston, MA.
Our office knows that not all school-aged children are able to visit our office after school for orthodontic care. Dental appointments are excused absences; we will happily sign a doctor’s school pass for your child.