Improving Your Dental Care

Important Questions To Ask Your Child's Orthodontist

If you have recently learned that your child will need braces in the near future, then you may have quite a few questions, especially if this is your first experience with orthodontics. The good news is that that your orthodontist can answer a good deal of these questions for you. Keep reading to learn about some of the things you should think about asking the professional.

How Long Will The Orthodontic Treatment Take?

Orthodontic treatments can vary quite a bit in terms of length, depending on a number of factors. A few of them include age, level of occlusion, and whether or not complementary treatments need to be included. For example, if your child is young enough that their wisdom teeth have not come in yet, then space savers, headgear, and other devices may be used until they come in and extraction can be completed. This will extend the orthodontic period.

Your child may also experience a longer treatment if they have TMJ. This will often require surgery either before or during the orthodontic treatment, and healing will need to happen before the tooth straightening can continue. 

If your child's teeth are extremely crooked with multiple extractions needed, then your orthodontist will need some extra time to shift the teeth around. On average, braces need to be worn for around 18 to 24 months. However, your orthodontist will be able to give you a more exact timeframe depending on the condition of your child's teeth.

How Much Pain Will Be Involved?

Most children are worried about the discomfort involved with wearing braces. For this reason, it is wise to speak with the orthodontist about the degree of pain that your child is likely to experience. In some cases, pain will be minimal, and this can put your child at ease. 

If your orthodontist thinks that pain is likely to be in the mild to moderate range, then you should also inquire about the methods that can be used to reduce discomfort. For example, if thick wires, springs, anchors, and other metal devices are needed, then you will be advised on how to use wax to minimize soreness issues. You may learn about the use of Advil, saltwater rinses, and topical medicines to minimize pain. 

In extreme cases, stronger medications may be required to reduce discomfort. If this is necessary, the orthodontist will discuss your options and whether or not opioid pain relievers are appropriate. 

Contact a local resource like Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics, LLP if you want to know more about what your child will face with getting their teeth straightened.