Most parents assume that their child won’t need braces until they are teenagers. However, in the teen years the face is fully developed and there is a loss of space that could require permanent tooth extraction for orthodontics. If the child had been for an earlier evaluation they would enjoy a better experience.
One of the benefits of an integrated general dentistry/orthodontics practice is that I am able to observe the child as they grow and have the opportunity to educate the child and their parent about braces.
I have answered some of the most FAQ’s to help you determine next steps in achieving your child’s best oral health.
What is malocclusion?
The word malocclusion literally means, bad bite. More often we hear it characterized as “crooked teeth”.
When should my child be evaluated for orthodontics?
The American Orthodontic Society recommends that children be evaluated by age 7 to evaluate possible problems that may be difficult to correct later. Although early treatment is not often initiated, it is important to identify and correct any problems with tooth eruption and jaw relationships.
The development of the face is influenced by the position of the teeth. By age 9, 80% of facial development is complete. If problems are not corrected early, facial asymmetries or other issues may require surgery.
What is the best age to get braces?
That varies with each child. The best practice is to have the child evaluated by age 7.
Shouldn’t I just wait until all my child’s baby teeth come in?
In many cases braces are not needed until the permanent teeth have erupted.
But, to avoid the possibility of long-term issues, early evaluation is strongly recommended.
Aren’t braces just cosmetic? My child is beautiful the way s/he is.
Braces are used to straighten teeth to allow for proper health and function. When teeth are not properly aligned, oral health can be negatively impacted. In addition to good health, studies have shown that an aesthetically pleasing smile can lead to increased job opportunities.
How long will I have braces?
The length of treatment is determined by the amount of adjustment needed. The time needed can vary from six months to 36 months but the average is 18-24 months.
My child’s teeth are crooked, but I don’t want to subject them to years of painful adjustments. Won't braces hurt?
Thanks to NASA, we now have nitonal wires (aka memory wires) that move the teeth gently and cause little to no discomfort.
Will my child have to have teeth pulled?
At Stanley Dentistry, our goal is to always save permanent teeth.
What type of braces do you provide?
Dr. Bobbi provides traditional braces as well as Invisalign. Traditional braces are often fun for young children and teenagers because they are able to choose multiple band colors for their brackets. They can change them monthly to celebrate holidays or school spirit.
Invisialign (Invisible braces) now provides Invisalign Teen. This clear plastic orthodontic tray is changed at home every 10 days and the patient only needs to see Dr. Bobbi for a short 30 minute appointment every 6-8 weeks. Additionally, Invisalign has inserted a blue “tracking” dot inside the tray that fades with use. This provides assurance to the orthodontic staff that the teen is wearing their trays as they should.
I’m not sure I’m ready for braces but I’d like to know more. Is there a charge for the first visit?
All consultation appointments are complimentary at Stanley Dentistry. At your first appointment, Dr. Bobbi will provide expert advice about treatment needs, treatment options and the timing of treatment before making this important investment. Cost and financing options will also be discussed.
Do I have to pay for it all at once?
Stanley Dentistry accepts most insurance and will work with you to receive the maximum benefit from your dental insurance. Other financial options are available including zero-down, no-interest payment plans.
Dr. Bobbi Stanley is a member of the American Orthodontic Society & has completed coursework with Dr. Jackson and Drs. Wyatt & White. In addition to orthodontics, Dr. Bobbi Stanley focuses on cosmetic dentistry and TMD. She enjoys helping her patients find their smile with smile makeovers including no prep veneers and full mouth reconstruction. She shares her practice with her husband, Dr. Robert Stanley whose focus is oral and periodontal surgery, dental implants and endodontics and associate Dr. Dalton Hunt who concentrates on pediatric dentistry.
Stanley Dentistry has partnered with families in Cary, Morrisville and Apex to achieve excellent oral health for 20 years.