Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics Specialists of Michigan is offering free orthodontic evaluations throughout the month of February. This makes it the perfect opportunity for you or your child to be screened or evaluated for orthodontic problems and to discuss possible solutions.
However, one of the most common questions we get is “does my child really need braces” or “why do we need to evaluate my child, he has a bunch of baby teeth in his mouth.”
These questions are very understandable, and all of our doctors take an educational approach to talking about growth and development of the teeth and jaws and orthodontic problems in general. And, in fact you may be surprised to hear that, no, all children do not need braces. But, there are some orthodontic problems that, if left to fester, can cause more severe problems down the road.
Dr. AJ says, “We look at each patient as an individual. We aim to educate and support the health and well-being of every member of our community. Essentially, an orthodontic evaluation is a conversation where we learn what parent and patient concerns are and provide our thoughts on if the concerns need to be addressed or not. If there is a need for treatment, we search for the simplest, least expensive yet most effective way to address the problem. And, we do this from the perspective of ‘what would I do if this were my child?’”
The benefits of orthodontic evaluations
You may think there’s nothing wrong, but orthodontists know for sure. Years of study trained them to notice even the smallest problems as they begin to develop in growing teeth, gums and jaws.
Sometimes it’s a mismatch in the growth of the two jaws or maybe it’s a baby tooth lost too early. There could be massive crowding preventing eruption of teeth or a tooth that has gone off course that needs encouragement to have a chance for future eruption.
To help find the kids with the problems that could require extractions or complicated future treatments if not addressed early on, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. For children with visible irregularities in the gum and jaw areas, this is essential. Preventive treatment is much better than corrective treatment of a problem that marinated for 2 or 3 years.
Dr. Ari says, “Some treatments, such as huge overbites, may have to wait until later when the puberty growth spurt is roaring. But, the early examination helps the parent and child plan for the future treatment mentally and financially.”
What situations make orthodontic evaluation essential?
If any of the following apply to your child, an orthodontic evaluation may be invaluable for your family:
Causes of HEREDITARY orthodontic issues:
- Teeth overcrowding
- Difficulty chewing and biting
- Jaw growth irregularities, disproportionate jaws (asymmetry in the face)
- Jaws that click, shift or make noise as they move
- Malocclusions (overbites, underbites, crossbites)
Causes of ENVIRONMENTAL/ACQUIRED orthodontic issues:
- Premature loss of baby teeth
- Solely breathing through the mouth consistently
- Medical issues/birth defects/injuries
- Dental hygiene problems/cavities
- Bad habits, like thumb or finger sucking
We would love to meet with you and discuss your child’s growth and development or your own orthodontic questions and concerns. Contact us at 586-286-0700 to make your appointment now.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.