A child’s smile is one of the unique things for parents. Therefore, they must pay attention to choosing the best dentist for the child to get the best outcome for their child’s dental needs. Children are commonly affected by malocclusions during their growth period. Among them, crooked smiles, overcrowding, the spacing between the teeth, and uneven bite are the most common types of malocclusions that children experience in their life. However, such malocclusions can be treated by an orthodontist. (1)
A pediatric orthodontist is a dental specialist who undergoes additional training to specialize in straightening and improving the bite of the children using various orthodontic appliances. Moreover, pediatric orthodontists are board-certified and recognized by the American Dental Association. Pediatric orthodontists are trained to interact with children effectively, asses the bite of the patient, diagnose the malocclusion, and treat is successfully to enhance the smile of the child. Moreover, they also kee pa check on the growth pattern of the jaw bone using digital imaging techniques. (2)
When should you see a pediatric orthodontist?
Typically, the American Board of Orthodontics recommends that children should get an orthodontic screening at least by the age of seven. This is an ideal age for the orthodontist to determine the requirement of orthodontic treatment.
Some parents do not realize the dental problems their child must be experiencing. Therefore, they will delay the treatment leading to more complications. It is essential to get a consultation at an early stage. Early diagnosis and treatment help to guide the erupting teeth to move into their favorable positions. Moreover, it helps to promote the proper growth of the jaw bone. (3) Early treatment corrects significant dental problems and eliminates the possibility of undergoing orthodontic treatment in adolescence.
How to pick a pediatric orthodontist?
It takes an enormous amount of patience and training in handling the child as a patient. A well-trained pediatric orthodontist dentist will be able to comfort the child and provide a positive experience as compared to a general dentist. Therefore, it is essential to pick the best pediatric orthodontist for your child carefully –
- Make sure the pediatric orthodontist is board certified
- Make a consultation appointment to see how the orthodontist is interacting with the child. Moreover, it is essential to see how comfortable the child is with the dentist.
- Discuss the treatment options in detail, including the cost and discount plans to evaluate the pros of dental treatment. You must feel comfortable about the expenses. Moreover, check if they accept your insurance plan to cover the cost of orthodontic treatment. (4)
- Ask to review before and after photos of similar cases to see how the treatment outcome may look like
- Talk to the orthodontist to know about their specialization in different orthodontic therapies such as metal braces, clear aligners, ceramic braces, and self-ligating brackets
- Look for a dental office that is closer to your house. This is because orthodontic treatments require periodic check-ups at least once in every month. Therefore, it must be convenient for you to travel to the dental office every month to get the right treatment. (5)
- Check if the dental office is clean and hygienic. The child should feel comfortable around the staff members as well.
Finally, discuss with your family members the benefits and disadvantages of the pediatric orthodontist to make the right decision.