“Babies don’t need to go for dentist’s visits” – it is a common misconception among today’s parents and grandparents. Real dental care begins as soon as the baby’s first meal. Although the babies might not need to visit a pediatric dentist until their first set of milk teeth come out, that does not mean that parents don’t have to clean their tender gums after every meal. Dental care begins from their very first meal and will continue well into adulthood.

There is no exact age for the very first orthodontic appointment of a child, but typically, by the time a child is 6 to 7 years old, he or she should see an orthodontist. It is a critical time for children since their milk teeth begin to fall and their first permanent teeth begin to come out. During this age, children have some milk teeth and some permanent teeth. That allows the orthodontist to diagnose and correct any teeth or jaw problem that might plague the child in his or her early teens. Today, a significant percentage of new parents in St Paul MN, are taking their children to pediatric orthodontists for evaluation and corrective treatments.

Why should you take your child to an orthodontist too?

Here’s why you should take your child to an orthodontist as soon as possible –

  1. Guide the development of the child’s jaw to facilitate proper dental maturity
  2. Regulate and correct the width of lower and upper arches
  3. Reducing or eliminating the removal of permanent teeth later on
  4. Correct crowding of permanent teeth
  5. Correct thumb sucking and reduce speech problems due to improper dental alignment

How to understand if your child requires an orthodontist?

It is not always possible for parents to determine if a child needs the attention of an orthodontist. Here are some of the signs your child might demonstrate that calls for expert care –

  1. Breathing through the mouth
  2. Early or delayed loss of milk teeth
  3. Difficulty in chewing and biting food
  4. Thumb sucking till an advanced age
  5. Jaws that make popping sounds while opening and/or closing
  6. Blocked, misplaced or crowded permanent teeth
  7. Crowded front teeth or larger than average front teeth
  8. Jaws that protrude or teeth that are larger than the rest

These seem like simple problems that the child will “grow into,” but that rarely happens. Overbites, underbites or crowded teeth can create self-esteem issues that curb the child’s social development later in life. Many adults now have low self-confidence and stunted social skills due to similar dental problems.

Is it too late for teenagers?

In case you did not find the time or opportunity to take your child to an orthodontist in St. Paul, MN, during his or her early years, it is not too late. Orthodontics has corrective options for teenagers and young adults as well. Although, every teen unequivocally dreads the word “braces,” they are the corrective instrument that can correct overbites, underbites, cross-bites, and crowding of teeth.

Now, even ten years ago, every pre-teen and teen had enough reason to fear braces. They were nothing but unsightly bits of metal with elastics that held the teeth close together. They were always the first visible feature of any person wearing them, and they were the centre of attention in every photo! However, modern braces are no longer as visible or noticeable as they used to be. In fact, some of the braces are even invisible. At Dr. Jennifer Orthodontist St Pual MN, there are scores of different styles and material you can choose –

  1. Invisible Braces
  2. Ceramic Braces
  3. Lingual Braces
  4. Traditional, metal braces

Braces may have inspired dread in the past, but the modern ones are light, nearly invisible and comfortable. It is safe to say that most teenagers find the latest orthodontic braces good looking and significantly easier to maintain than their older versions.

Do adult orthodontic patients in MN have hope?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, around 20% of orthodontic patients are adults above the age of 21. Apart from those, who had not gone in for orthodontic treatment in their childhood, it consists of adults, who understand the importance of good dental health.

Today, adults go in for orthodontic treatments due to the following reasons –

  1. The incorrect fit of teeth due to malocclusion
  2. Crowding of teeth or gapped teeth
  3. Early signs of tooth decay and gum diseases
  4. Jaw pain or pressure resulting from crooked teeth
  5. The desire for a brighter smile and better oral health

While many believe that braces and retainers are only useful for treating dental issues in children, it is a misconception. Even adults can benefit equally from wearing braces as per the advice of an orthodontist. Prolonged pressure can coax gapped teeth together or space out the crowded ones. That is the beauty of the human body, with the right treatment, you can correct your jaw structure and dental alignment at any age. It not only enhances the aesthetics, but it also improves one’s bite, pronunciation, and overall oral health.

Adults have a wide choice of braces. You should be able to choose from the following types –

  1. Clear Braces
  2. Self-ligating braces
  3. Ceramic Braces
  4. Invisible Braces
  5. Lingual or behind-the-tooth braces
  6. Metal braces (traditional)

Why should everyone seek an orthodontist’s advice?

The jawbones in adults do not grow any longer. Therefore, an adult orthodontic patient in MN might require orthognathic surgery for the proper alignment of jawbones. Such surgery is typically unnecessary for children and young teens. Mechanical manipulation in the form of braces and retainers is generally enough to realign their teeth and jaws correctly. Therefore, you should seek the advice of an orthodontist in your area as soon as possible for yourself and your children.

Most standard health insurance policies in MN support orthodontic treatment including Invisalign. If you are still in doubt, speak with your insurance provider and your dental care provider for financing options.