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An attractive smile is a nice effect of orthodontic care, but there are many other reasons to take your child to an orthodontist.

Properly aligned teeth and jaws can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other health problems.


To avoid those things from happening, we have compiled a list of tips for parents to understand the effects of orthodontics and when your child should be screened:


1. Children should be screened by age seven. Since teeth and jaws are developed enough by that time, we can see if there will be any serious bite problems in the future. Most of the time treatment is not necessary that early, but it gives you time to plan ahead and prevent the formation of serious problems.


2. There are several reasons children may have crooked teeth including thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, premature loss of baby teeth, or a poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils. There are also hereditary factors that can also play a role in crowded teeth.



3. A natural response to pressure over time is tooth movement. Pressure is applied by using a variety of orthodontic hardware, the most common being a brace or bracket attached to the teeth and connected by an arch wire. At different stages of treatment your child may wear a headgear, elastics, a positioner or a retainer.


4. There may be some discomfort or pain when teeth are first moved. This usually lasts 24 to 72 hours. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin) usually helps relieve that discomfort.


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