Orthodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on the development, prevention or correction of any irregularities that occur within the teeth, bite or jaw.
Although dental health may seem like the only issue parents should concern themselves with when it comes to their children's teeth, this is not the case. The American Dental Association of America recommends that children undergo an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. Orthodontics create a well-rounded assessment of your child's health, something that should never fall to the wayside.
Orthodontics is often classified as a malocclusion or bad bite. Some common issues often associated with it include missing teeth, misalignment of the teeth, an overbite, underbite or any disorder associated with the joints of the jaw.
Keep the following tips in mind to help reduce oral health issues in the future:
- Brush your teeth together: One way to ensure your child is brushing properly is by brushing your teeth together. Make sure they are brushing after each meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. If your child already has braces, be sure they are extra attentive to the space between brackets and other parts as well. During this time, consider also implementing flossing, depending on your child's age. Often, kids will begin flossing too hard, which can damage the gums and cause them to bleed or become easily irritated.
- Limit certain food intake: Don't tell your child they literally can't eat one type of food, or that will often cause them to crave it even more. Instead, limit the amount of one type of food your child may eat during one time period. They should be able to eat one piece of hard candy, but a whole bag most likely isn't the best idea. Do be aware though, of certain foods such as those high in sugars. These can become left behind even after brushing, which can then turn into damaging acids, eroding the teeth and gums over time and causing the formation of plaque.
- Maintain oral health appointments: Keep up with both dental and orthodontic appointments. Although it may seem easy to forget an appointment or feel as if there is no real harm in skipping one, issues are often found during routine exams, meaning they are as important as visiting when there is a real issue as well. Schedule appointments every six months to a year, depending on the needs of your child. If your child has already been fitted with braces, be sure to make regular, closer together appointments as well to ensure everything is working fine.
- Set a good example: If your child sees that you have bad oral habits, like everything else in life, they're probably going to want to be just like you. Try and pass on your best qualities, beginning with oral health.
To learn more about your child's oral health, schedule an appointment with Dr. Tanya Vaysman today.