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kids orthodontist

What is the Ideal Age For Braces?

For many parents, braces only enter the conversation when the child’s teeth are clearly misaligned, overcrowded, or overly spaced. However, waiting for this long means that the treatment will take more time and money than if you had discovered the problems at their early stages. 

Ideally, you should take your child for an orthodontic evaluation yearly from the time they hit 7 years until their teenage years. This ensures that any budding problems with the teeth or bite are identified and corrected when the kid is still young. The orthodontist may also prescribe routines and medications to prevent other conditions in the future. 


When Should a Child Start Wearing Braces?

Generally, the best age to get started with braces is between 11 and 14 years. At these ages, the child’s permanent teeth will be fully grown but their mouth and jawlines will still be developing, which makes it easy for the braces to correct the teeth alignment, fix spaces, and strengthen the bite. 


What to Know About Braces

If advised to wear braces, your child’s oral care routine will also need to change for the better to avoid interfering with the braces. In particular, the child will need to brush at least twice a day. If possible, they should also integrate flossing and mouthwash into their routines to ensure they completely get rid of anything that can harbor bacteria.

The orthodontist may also require the child to avoid foods that can damage the braces or interfere with their working. And contrary to the popular view that only junk snacks, gummy bears, and candy are bad for developing teeth, even erstwhile healthy foods like carrots are not advisable to take when one is wearing braces.

What are the Medical Benefits of Braces?

In the last few years, braces have gone from being entirely worn by young kids and teenagers with highly misaligned teeth to being a universally popular solution for all forms of teeth misalignment, even among adults. Although the exact reasons for this increase in popularity and use are varied, there is no doubt that new research showing that braces have more benefits than previously thought had something to do with it. Below are some of these benefits:

Better Bites

The term bite typically describes the way the upper and lower teeth grasp foods as you chew. While their primary use is to correct misalignment, braces also enhance the strength and alignment of your bite, making it easy and comfortable for you to chew different types of foods.

Poor bites are normally caused by gaps in the mouth, either due to missing or crooked teeth, and can make the chewing experience extremely uncomfortable, as the jaws and gums have to do more than they’re used to. By realigning the crooked teeth, braces reduce pressure on the jaws, which not only strengthens the bite but also eliminates pain when chewing.

Increased Esteem

Apart from being a literal pain, crooked teeth can also be a big hit to one’s self-esteem, particularly when it comes to smiling. Often, people with such teeth will avoid talking in social settings and even sharing jokes with friends. Braces help correct most forms of poor alignment and if worn correctly, can improve one’s smile, which subsequently leads to increased confidence and willingness to smile in public.

Why Dental Fillings are Important

According to figures from the National Institute of Health, over 78% of people are likely to experience tooth decay before their 17th birthday. This can be attributed to poor oral hygiene and dental health. 

Failure to observe good oral health and hygiene practices increases the likelihood of losing the enamel, which is a thin and hard outer surface that protects the nerve endings from infection and injury 

When the enamel gets eroded by bacteria, your teeth become vulnerable to decay. The buildup of plaque can gradually eat away the surface of your teeth, thus causing cavities, which manifest as holes in the teeth. Unless this is remedied early, food particles and sugars can lodge inside these holes and create a conducive environment for bacteria, which will further damage your teeth. 

So, How do Dental Fillings Work?

Dental fillings are artificial materials used to fill up cavities in teeth to restore their health and function. Some of the commonly used materials for dental filling include porcelain, plastic, gold, composite resins, and silver amalgams. 

Before a dental filling procedure is done, your dentist has to conduct an assessment of your dental health to determine the extent of tooth decay. This helps them decide whether a dental filling is required. Once the assessment is complete, they will then get rid of any plaque, bacteria, and food debris from the affected teeth before performing the filling procedure. After the filling has been put in place, the dentist will then apply an adhesive to prevent it from coming out. 

How to Fix A Kid's Yellow Teeth

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One of the most annoying behaviors in kids is their aversion to brushing their teeth, whether due to not liking it or from forgetfulness. And the consequences of that can be far-reaching. 

Teeth yellowing, in particular, is one of the most devastating effects of poor dental hygiene and can have long-term effects on both the child's esteem and dental structure. While reversing yellow discoloration is doable, it can be a hectic process if many teeth are affected and thus it makes more sense to prevent than to fix it.

How to Prevent Your Kid's Teeth from Turning Yellow

It may sound paradoxical, but the cheapest and most effective treatment of yellow teeth is avoiding yellow teeth in the first place. And it doesn't involve anything complicated - adoption of and strict adherence to proper dental hygiene is all that's needed to keep your child's pearly whites clean and gleaming white for a lifetime. To that end, the 3 most effective ways of preventing yellow teeth are:

Regular Brushing

Dentists recommend brushing after every meal for maximum cleanliness, but that's clearly not possible for school-going kids. In that case, brushing twice a day, at the very least, should be the rule. Ideally, you should make sure your kid brushes their teeth both after breakfast and dinner. That helps remove stuck food particles and kill the harmful bacteria that may have hid in the teeth or gums, both of which prevent the development of plaque.

Stick to The 2 by 2 Rule

It is recommended that everyone, both kids and adults, brush their teeth twice a day with each session lasting two full minutes. This is known as the 2 by 2 Rule, and is informed by the fact that a complete and thorough cleaning of all teeth and gums takes approximately 2 minutes.

What to do for a Child with Swollen Gums

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Many people mistakenly think that dental health only deals with teeth. What they do not know is that gums have the same importance as teeth.

If your child has swollen gums, they are bound to experience pain, especially when chewing food. This underlines the importance of visiting a dentist regularly.

What Causes Swollen Gums?

The primary reason behind swollen gums in children is the presence of bacteria in the mouth. The best way to fight this bacteria and prevent this condition is to floss and brush your teeth regularly.

Among kids, bacteria starts developing in the mouth as soon as they grow their first tooth. This is why it is important to maintain oral hygiene. If you are a first-time parent, make sure that you book an appointment with your dentist within the first six months of teething.

Besides poor oral hygiene, there are other reasons behind swollen gums in children. First, a poor diet can lead to dental complications such as swollen gums. The solution to this problem is giving a balanced diet to your kids.

Another thing that causes the swelling of gums is gum disease. When you fail to treat oral bacteria, it may damage your gums and jaws. The aftereffect of this is pain and swollen gums. There are two types of gum disease – gingivitis, which is mild, and periodontitis, which is severe.

Lastly, having a dry mouth can lead to swollen gums. This is because saliva prevents the development of bacteria in the mouth. When you lack it, bacteria thrive. Some of the reasons behind a dry mouth include dehydration, some drugs, and other underlying conditions.

Should You Teach Children To Use Mouthwash? 

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If you are like most people, you probably love the minty fresh feeling that comes from using a mouthwash. Apart from keeping your mouth fresh, mouthwash also helps remove any missed food particles when brushing your teeth. However, just because you use mouthwash, does it mean that your child can use it as well? 

Well, many parents often make the mistake of introducing mouthwash to their kids if they struggle with bad breath. They usually overlook the possibility that the problem could be a result of poor oral hygiene. So, before you teach your child how to use mouthwash, you need to ensure that they are already practicing good oral hygiene. 

Here is a simple checklist of good dental habits that will help you determine whether your child is ready to begin using a mouthwash: 

Are they Brushing Regularly?

Dentists usually recommend brushing teeth at least twice a day for two minutes per session. 



Are they Applying the Right Brushing Technique?

Some children tend to brush only the front teeth and ignore the ones further back in the mouth. This is a wrong method of brushing and can lead to dental problems such as cavities and plaque build-up. 



Are they Brushing their Tongue?

Sometimes issues such as bad breath may arise due to failure to brush the tongue. You should, therefore, teach your child how to use the back of their brush for cleaning their tongue



Are they Flossing their Teeth?

Flossing is one of the most important oral care practices. It helps remove food particles that get stuck in between teeth or gums. By flossing regularly, you can avoid problems such as cavities and bad breath. 

What To Know Before Getting Braces

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Remember when you were in high school, and the "cool" kids were always making fun of the kids who had braces? Remember when everyone thought braces were awkward and childish? If you do remember all that, first of all, congratulations on reaching old age! Secondly, how about we tell you that these days, braces are the opposite of awkward and 'uncool'?

Well, due to modern technology, braces now consist of fun band colors, creative hashtags, and all sorts of dynamic designs. They almost look nothing like the bland, mechanical contraptions of yesteryears.

Whether you are an adult or a kid and desire to, or rather, have to wear braces in the near future, here's what you need to know about them:

They Improve More Than Just The Smile

While they're primarily for straightening the teeth, modern braces correct teeth and jaw alignment issues, and also improve the bite.



Get Your Dentals Sorted First

If you have pending teeth cleaning, or any other dental treatment, it is advisable to first have it done before getting braced up. This is because some dental treatments, such as removal of wisdom teeth, are known to interfere with orthodontic treatments.



Adjust Your Diet Accordingly

A few months before you get your braces, you need to considerably limit, or completely stop consumption of certain "high-risk" foods such as sugary and sticky foods like gummy bears. Particularly, avoid foods that require yanking or biting into, like corn on the cob and sugarcane, as they can disorient the teeth alignment and strength.

Are Braces Worth the Cost?

Braces are not only a great way to get an aligned smile that looks great, but help you promote good oral health for the rest of your life.

You may have perceived braces as being for only aesthetic purposes, but that could not be further from the truth! Whether you're a young child, pre-teen, teen, or adult, you can benefit from making an appointment to see if you need braces.

Not everyone does end up needing braces, so it's not a big deal to get a consultation and find out what's going on. Often times your dentist will be able to confirm whether braces are needed or will point it out during a routine dental check up.

Braces are absolutely worth the cost because they are going to give you a fantastic smile and make flossing and general oral care easier and more effective. Crowded teeth and more can often require further treatment in order to make sure that the teeth are aligned or are placed more closely to where they need to be.

Confidence and more can be yours through braces, but the health benefits cannot be stressed enough. They are practical and while you may have to purchase an electric toothbrush in order to try and keep food particles out of your brackets (or can go with something more transparent like Invisalign braces if you're older and want to avoid this type of thing), it's well worth it in the end.

Avoiding getting braces could mean that you have difficulty speaking or eating food, a higher chance of getting cavities or dental decay, inability to clean surfaces, jaw misalignment, bite issues, pain, and more. So if you are recommended braces, it is worth checking out.

 

Cost Factors of Braces

The Truth About Sugary Drinks and Your Smile

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Sugar may be fun to consume if you're a kid, but it is not that healthy when it comes to your teeth! Your child may have a love of sweet things, but unfortunately, so do bacteria.

Sugar or sucrose is seen by the bacteria as food. It causes tooth decay, because the bacteria make acid in the process and the teeth get etched away by the acid.

How much sugar does your family eat? With meals, drinks, and snacks included, it could be more than the average dentist would recommend.

Check out these dental health tips to find out some top tips for reducing sugar in snacks for children. Getting some ideas to reduce sugar can't hurt!

1. Know Added Sugar Limits

The U.S. FDA recommends that if you're over the age of 3, you get no more over 12.5 teaspoons of added sugar (same as 1 can soda). Adults need to consume no more than 6 teaspoons, and children not over 3 teaspoons. Remember that sweeteners often have other names besides simply 'sugar'. Sugar is put on the list in grams, and one teaspoon is the same as 4 grams of sugar.

2. Juice Has Sugar

Juice seems healthy, but it isn't. It's just a frequent choice to give children for some reason, but water as well as milk are the way to go because they are hydrating and do not come with all of those calories. If your child is under the age of 1, they shouldn't have juice in their diet.

Older kids can have juice, but those six and younger should not exceed 6 ounces a day. Children from ages 7 to 18 shouldn't exceed 8-12 ounces. Juice can assist tooth decay because bacteria get the opportunity to eat and produce teeth-destroying acid.

Preventing Children From Having Crooked Teeth

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Crooked teeth can affect children's appearance and oral health. Teeth that are not straight can affect speech, make it difficult to brush and floss, and increase the risk of developing problems with their oral health (gum disease, tooth decay).

When it comes to crooked teeth developing, genetics may play a part. It is important that you know what signs you should look out for, taking action if you see anything to go to the dentist. Check out these four ways to help maintain your child's teeth and gums and keep them healthy.

1. Break bad habits.

Toddlers may have a tendency to suck on their thumbs, but breaking this habit is important. Continued sucking could damage front teeth, the gums, and the roof of the mouth, particularly past the age of three. Bottle feeding and sucking pacifiers past a point are also not good for developing teeth.

Research helpful tips for any bad habits your child has, from not wanting to brush to sucking their thumb, so you can break the habit early and reduce the chance of it having a negative impact.

2. Teach them oral hygiene.

Your child needs to care for their oral hygiene. Teaching them how to care for the gums and teeth will keep them healthy now and prepare them for good habits to protect them later. When their first tooth develops, make an appointment for them at the dentist.

The dentist will look at their teeth and confirm that it's all going well or voice concerns. They can also give tips on age appropriate oral hygiene practices and what you should be doing at home. Brush with your kids and make it a fun event. Make sure they know to brush in the morning for two minutes and again at night and be there too! Play music or get them electric brushes to make it more enjoyable.

3. Respond to tooth loss.