Orthodontics: The Basics - Spring & Sprout

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Orthodontics: The Basics

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"A smile is also one of the most basic, biologically uniform expressions of all humans," writes Forbes guest contributor, Eric Savitz. Smiling is not just a universal means of communicating, but it’s also a frequent one. On average, more than 30% of people smile more than 20 times a day! Across even more studies, smiling has been associated with significant health benefits including reduced stress hormone levels, increased mood enhancing hormone levels, and lowered blood pressure. If that's not enough, numerous studies have emerged over recent decades which have confirmed that people who smile not only appear more likable but are also perceived to be more competent--an undeniable benefit both socially and professionally. While our orthodontic specialists recognize each family comes to us with differing needs, we will always work our best to provide your child with a smile that they can be proud of!

Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of irregularities in tooth and/or jaw development. Though your child's pediatric dentist may be able to identify many developmental irregularities, an orthodontist is a dental specialist whose primary training and focus revolves around the identification and correction of crooked teeth and misaligned jaw structures. While orthodontists can help patients improve the look and feel of their smile at any age, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening by age 7. Orthodontists are trained to spot subtle problems with jaw growth and tooth development early on--even while baby teeth are still present! By identifying potential developmental issues early, orthodontists are able to provide corrective treatment which may not be as simple at later stages of growth. Early identification and treatment may give your child's orthodontist the opportunity to: 

  • gradually guide jaw growth
  • correct harmful oral habits
  • guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

Exploring Your Options

At your first visit, the orthodontist will thoroughly examine your child's teeth, mouth, and jaw. Your specialist will likely ask a series of questions and perform a brief examination of your child's bite. Depending on the initial findings, the orthodontist may ask to take X-rays of your child's mouth to determine the positioning of permanent teeth and make recommendations based on their unique needs. One of the most common forms of corrective treatment is braces. 

Braces are used by orthodontists to help align and straighten a child's teeth. While patients may experience slight discomfort as their mouths become accustomed to the braces, braces do not hurt as they are intended to gradually correct irregularities. The amount of time spent in braces vary depending on the individual needs of a patient, however, most standard treatments take about 22 months. At Spring & Sprout, our specialists are here to serve you and your child. While braces are often a big adjustment for kids (and parents), the end results are undeniable! Nevertheless, the decision to pursue corrective measures always lies between a parent and their child. If you have questions about our orthodontic services or would like to schedule a consultation with our specialists, reach out to your office today!



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