The field of orthodontics spans beyond corrective treatments. It also includes preventive care, which is used to prevent the development of a bad bite or crooked and overcrowded teeth. In fact, some children who undergo preventive treatments can avoid the need for far more invasive treatments later in life. By the time preventive orthodontic treatments are complete, children have an adequate amount of jaw space for permanent teeth to erupt.
Did you know?
It is important that your child undergoes an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Preventive care is only effective when used early – usually while the majority of primary teeth are still intact. Some of the most common preventive orthodontic treatments in include:
- Space maintainers – to hold the space of a primary tooth that has fallen out prematurely
- Head gear – used to reposition the jaw and create space for permanent teeth
- Tooth extractions – used to remove primary teeth that have not fallen out on their own
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my child need preventive orthodontic treatment?
Your child may need preventive care if he or she has malocclusion, inadequate jaw space, has teeth erupting in the wrong spaces, or has missing primary teeth lost due to decay or trauma. If you suspect that your child could need preventive orthodontic, schedule a consultation immediately.
What should I expect during preventive orthodontic treatment?
Preventive treatment varies from child to child. Some types of preventive appliances are fixed in your child’s mouth, and require multiple visits to ensure a perfect fit. If your child’s appliance is removable, you will be given instructions on how and when your child should wear the device. You can also expect to make occasional orthodontic visits for the duration of your child’s preventive treatment to measure progress and make adjustments as needed.
Will I need to follow any special instructions while my child is undergoing preventive treatment?
Yes. In addition to ensuring your child’s appliance is being worn correctly, you’ll need to also prevent your child from consuming foods that could damage the appliance while being worn. If your child’s appliance is removable, you’ll need to clean it regularly and store it according to your orthodontist’s instructions.
Will my post-op instructions apply to every visit? Example of rewording requested above:
Possibly. There may be some visits where you are told to wear elastics or activate your expander until your next visit. It is important to never leave your dentist’s office until you have a thorough understanding of your responsibilities at home. Continue to use proper brushing and flossing techniques and follow Dr. Cox’s recommendations regarding your periodic cleanings and examinations. Be sure to contact us if you have any post-op questions.