October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

Oct 6, 2021 | Articles

October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

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October is finally here…or maybe you feel like it crept up on us. Either way, we have been back in school, readjusting to our new schedules and hopefully establishing some great oral health routines.

Our focus this month is twofold: first, we are going to talk about orthodontic health (yay braces!) and then of course give some pointers on Halloween candy pitfalls! Stay tuned for the blog on Halloween candy.

Did you know that October is National Orthodontic Health Month? Your pediatric dentists have extensive training in orthodontic care. After dental school, Dr. Greg and Dr. Rachel both received training in growth and development as well as training in braces during their residency programs. This portion of their residency training made up about 25% of their time! That is why every time your child visits for their regular check-up and cleaning we evaluate their bite and monitor their growth and development. We are the first step to assessing the need and timing of orthodontic care.

One of the most common questions we get asked is why do kids with baby teeth get braces? Braces are wonderful tools we use for two main reasons: most commonly known to straighten teeth, but we are also using them to help facilitate growth if needed. In the latter scenario, some kids will have an arch length discrepancy (when the upper and lower jaws don’t match up in size) or maybe a crossbite (when a lower tooth or teeth overlap in front of an upper tooth or teeth). In these Phase I cases (meaning kids still have some baby teeth present) we can put a little extra pressure on the bones while your child is still growing to help in their growth pattern. This is usually called expansion and can help avoid the need for long term braces or even tooth extractions later in life.

Another common question we get asked is the need and timing of braces. There are a lot of factors that go into assessing when orthodontic treatment plans should start and which treatment plan is best for your child. The American Academy of Orthodontics recommends every child have their first orthodontic assessment by the age of 7. Here at Big Grins, we have been completing these orthodontic assessments every time your child comes in for their checkup. We will let you know if we are seeing issues that need to be addressed by an orthodontist and then will give you guidance on when to receive that first consult with the orthodontist!

‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ – Benjamin Franklin