Many of our orthodontics patients and parents of patients tell us when they begin learning more about orthodontic care and proper growth and development that they are surprised by some of the things they hear. Reasons for treatment, timing and technique are common areas of enlightenment and our doctors and staff are happy to share information and educate our patient families when they see us in the office (or read our awesome blog J). Don’t let these common myths and misunderstandings get in the way of you or your child receiving optimal orthodontic care.
Myth #1: A child doesn’t need to be seen by an orthodontist until teen years or after all the baby teeth have fallen out.
Fact: The ADA recommends that your child should be evaluated for orthodontic growth and development needs by age 7. Dr. Ari says, “Age 7 is the best time for us to check teeth development, especially the position of the third molars and front teeth. They’re important in establishing a good bite.” Our pediatric dentists already provide this service when your child comes for routine check ups and will refer to our orthodontic team if they see things are developing off course.
“We use a clinical examination and often a panoramic radiograph to see the erupted and developing permanent teeth about to come in. Depending upon what we see at age 7, interceptive solutions can be applied so that problems in the teen years are greatly simplified.”
Early, interceptive orthodontics can produce a lot of benefits. We can address crowding and eruption issues when there isn’t enough space or the wrong baby teeth are knocked out early (for any reason), asymmetrical jaw development and crossbites, habits and teeth at risk for trauma. We will also increase the confidence of your child as he or she grows toward the teen years. This leads us to Myth #2.
Myth #2: Orthodontic treatment is only cosmetic.
Fact: Proper tooth and gum position improves speech, nutrition, function and self-confidence while reducing wear and tear on the teeth. Aside from the obvious effect on a person’s smile and facial structure, untreated misalignment in the bite can be associated with jaw or TMJ pain later in life. Crooked teeth also make it impossible to clean them properly increasing risk of tooth decay, loss of teeth, and gum infection (which has been linked to complications like heart disease and cancers).
With these in mind, it also busts Myth #3:
Myth #3: It’s too late for braces if I’m an adult.
Fact: The last time a survey was conducted in 2012, 1 million adults went to an orthodontist. That number is higher today due to the increased awareness of clear aligner therapy and improved technology and awareness of what orthodontic treatment can do.
If you would benefit from orthodontic treatment, and you’re in our 20s, 30s, or 40s and beyond, you’re in good company! A lot of adults are also wearing braces or clear aligners. Why? Because myth #4 is false.
Myth #4: Braces are expensive and too visibly detracting.
Fact: The affordability of orthodontic treatment is better than ever. We’ve even had some parents surprised that the cost is similar to what they remember it being when they had treatment years ago. Technology has also begun to improve the efficiency and comfort of orthodontic treatment. Digital scanning and imaging (no more pink goop!) and “invisible braces” like Invisalign make the experience much more pleasant today than years ago.
Kids, teens and adults alike can be more comfortable and happier before and during treatment. And, remember, our orthodontic evaluation is free.
Myth #5: You need a dentist referral.
Fact: Anyone can make a complimentary evaluation appointment with one of our board certified orthodontists. In fact, many of our patients are the friends and family of current happy clients or patients that finished treatment with us previously. Those connections are so meaningful to us because it helps us know that the way we treat all of our patients like special individuals makes patients young and old(er) feel comfortable and satisfied with their treatment experience.
Call us to schedule your free orthodontic evaluation today. We look forward to seeing you soon.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has 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. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have 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.