The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

There’s an awful lot involved in keeping up with the modern family’s weekly schedule. If you’re a mom, then you already know how many hats you’re expected to wear, including cook, chauffeur, personal assistant, and even party planner. Shaw Orthodontics salutes your skill in keeping things running smoothly, but when it comes to caring for your child’s smile, you can take a break and sit this one out! You may be able to balance work, school, and extracurriculars like a pro, but your child’s oral health requires the professional guidance of an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Shaw.

You may not know it, but becoming an orthodontist requires several extra years of education and training after dental school. Dr. Shaw is a highly-trained specialist in tooth movement, facial growth, and dental development. He has years of experience in creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Rockwall, Watauga, and the surrounding communities. You may not be an expert in orthodontics, but you don’t have to be with with a skilled professional like Dr. Shaw on your side! 

We know that orthodontic treatment is a big investment in your child’s oral health, and value the trust you and your family have placed in our practice. It’s important to us that both of you feel fully confident in the journey ahead. Keep reading below for more information on the top 5 things you should know about orthodontics before embarking on this adventure with your child!

Children should receive an initial orthodontic evaluation by age 7

Orthodontics may be associated with teens in braces more often than any other demographic, but treatment can actually be beneficial to patients of all ages, including children. That’s why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends every child has their first orthodontic exam by about the age of 7. 

Some parents can be confused by this recommendation since children that young have developing mouths with lots of baby teeth left. But observing a child’s mouth at this age gives us the chance to catch potential problems early, before they can become more serious. Doing so may help reduce or even eliminate any negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth and bite later in life.

We treat a number of younger patients here at Shaw Orthodontics, and that has allowed us to see firsthand what a positive difference preventive care can make. Starting treatment at the right time can have a big impact on a child’s oral health, both now and in the future as their permanent teeth begin to grow. Even though most kids won’t require any active treatment at first, an early exam will let us determine if orthodontic treatment is likely to be needed later on, and if so, when it would be most advantageous to begin.

The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

Pick an orthodontic practice your whole family feels comfortable with

Your child will have regular check-ups throughout the orthodontic process. Depending on the type of appliance and the specific treatment plan, you can expect to be seen every 4-8 weeks or so. Since your family will be spending quite a bit of time in the orthodontist’s office, it’s important to find a practice you all click with!

We have two conveniently located offices in Rockwall and Watauga. We’ve worked hard to make each space comfortable, modern, and calming. We’re passionate about keeping up to date on the latest technology and treatments available, so we’re able to offer our patients the best in high-quality customized care. Our offices are welcoming to patients of all ages. 

Multiple treatment options are available

At Shaw Orthodontics, we combine cutting-edge techniques, state-of-the-art equipment, and personalized treatment plans for superior results. We offer the following treatment options in our offices. 

Traditional metal braces

These are the most commonly used braces. They’re generally made of high-grade stainless steel, and straighten the teeth using a system of brackets, wires, and bands.  Today’s braces are more comfortable and customizable than ever before.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are unique in that they are attached to the back side of the teeth and therefore almost completely invisible. Lingual braces are customized to match the shape of the teeth exactly, so each appliance will be created exclusively for that particular patient.  

Clear braces

Sometimes called ceramic braces, these function in the same way metal braces do, but are made of clear materials instead of stainless steel. Because they are less visible than traditional braces, they’re popular with older teens and adult patients who are image-conscious. They are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts, so we tend to use them on the upper front teeth more often than the lower teeth. 

Self-ligating braces 

Self-ligating braces can come with metal, ceramic, or clear brackets. They are the same size as metal braces, but use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide teeth into place. The clip helps reduce the amount of pressure placed on the tooth, and requires fewer adjustments because there are no elastics to replace.

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Invisalign is a removable orthodontic appliance that uses a series of invisible aligners to straighten the teeth. Because the aligners are clear and can be removed, patients can eat and drink as they normally would, plus brushing and flossing effectively is easier to achieve. The aligners are custom-made to fit snugly but comfortably over the patient’s own teeth. 

Orthodontic treatment is about more than a straight smile

It’s easy to assume that orthodontics focuses solely on straightening smiles, but there’s so much more to it than that! Issues like crooked teeth, misaligned jaws, and overbites go beyond simple cosmetic concerns, and can affect a patient’s overall oral health as well. Orthodontic treatment is able to address and correct a wide range of issues, from minor to complex, leaving your child with a straighter smile and a mouth that is fully functional.

Because straight teeth aren’t the only indicator of a healthy smile, orthodontists must learn how to diagnose, prevent, and correct malpositioned teeth and jaws. Dr. Shaw can catch any impacted, missing, or crowded teeth that may otherwise go unnoticed by examining a patient’s mouth along with the movement of their jaw and the development of their teeth. This lets us correct problems before they become more complicated.

The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

Treatment times will vary from case to case

Every smile is unique and will respond to treatment in its own way, so there’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long a patient will need to be in braces or aligners. The length of time that your child will require treatment will depend on several factors, including their specific case, the severity of the problem, their oral health, and how compliant they are. That being said, braces tend to be worn for 12-24 month on average, while Invisalign treatment usually lasts about 12-18 months.

Find your child’s best smile at Shaw Orthodontics

As a mom, we know that you want nothing but the best for your child, including a lifetime of healthy smiles! If you have a younger child ready for their first evaluation, we’d love to meet them and take a look at how their mouth is developing. Get in touch today for a FREE consultation, and take the first step towards your child’s best smile!