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5 Things You Should Know About Pediatric Orthodontics

Mar31

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Recently at an event for Invisalign Teen, I had the opportunity to interview NYC-based orthodontist Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling (stay with me for a special offer below) and learn about the importance of early intervention when it comes to the care of your child’s teeth and face.

Guide to Everything Archives1. Understand that Orthodontics is more than about straight teeth.
Orthodontics is “dentofacial orthopedics” and this important because some parents get stuck on the visual of just their child’s straight teeth. Some parents think if their kid has a great smile then they’re in the clear. However, orthodontists look at more than just the smile and examine the movement and growth of the jaw (for under- and over-bites) and use panoramic xrays to look at tooth follicles checking for impacted, missing and overcrowded teeth. And that is why you need to…

2. Take your child for his/her first orthodontic screening by age seven
What really struck me was how Dr. Jacqui shared how sometimes when she sees kids at ages eleven or twelve she finds herself expressing that she wished she had seen these kids a few years earlier. At age 7, most children’s first molars have erupted and most children complete their dental growth by age 12. So, being seen early for orthodontic intervention, like for teeth over-crowding for example, decreases the need for extraction of permanent teeth.

3. Get recommendations
Visit braces.org, the clearing house of the American Association of Orthodontists to understand what to expect and also get recommendations of orthodontists in your area. Also ask your pediatric dentist and friends for suggestions. Be aware that not every pediatric orthodontist is trained in all technologies, like the clear aligners Invisalign, for example. If you want all options and advanced technologies presented as an option, you need to do your research.

4. Get a second opinion
Though the cost of orthodontia is no longer akin to mortgaging a house (as I remember it was during my youth), it’s not inexpensive either. Before settling on a treatment plan, don’t hesitate getting a second opinion. No confident orthodontist will mind you confirming with another professional that his plan is a sound one for your child, if indeed it is.

5. Understand developments in technology
Just over the past couple of years there have been technological advances in clear aligners for children and teens particularly addressing one of the biggest concerns out there… compliance. That is, pediatric orthodontists have been concerned about kids not wearing their removable aligners. Now there are compliance indicators built-into aligners that handle that issue. But, I use compliance as an example to highlight that understanding the features and benefits of clear aligners and metal braces can go a long way in helping your son or daughter through a process they most likely face reluctantly. If you understand the technologies that exist today you can help them. Assuaging your daughter’s concerns and fears can be as easy helping her understand that orthodontic technologies now exist that are very inconspicuous. For all you know in her head she could still have that image of Darla from Finding Nemo as the poster child for orthodontics. Truth is, orthodontic technology has come a long way, baby.

Special Offer: For any New York-based readers, Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling is offering a $500 Invisalign Discount at any of her three New York Offices. Just mention that they read about it on Alpha Mom and she will honor the discount. Locations and additional information can be found on her website.

About the author

Isabel Kallman

http://www.alphamom.com
Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of Alphamom.com.

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


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2 Responses to “5 Things You Should Know About Pediatric Orthodontics”

  1. Kirstie Mar 31 at 3:40 pm Reply Reply

    I had braces for a ridiculously long time – from 3rd grade until the end of my freshman year of high school. I had jaw issues (an underbite), so it took quite a bit of work to get things fixed. And it would have been SO much harder to fix if we hadn’t started when I was so young and didn’t have my permanent teeth yet!
    I would mention, in regards to worries about appearance – I don’t remember EVER, in 9 years of braces (and I still wear a retainer now, at 21 years old!), getting teased for having braces. Never. I hardly know anyone who DIDN’T have braces as a kid, honestly. Everyone had braces for at least a year or two. I remember getting excited to pick out colored rubber bands to match events for that month!

  2. Caitlyn Mar 31 at 11:43 pm Reply Reply

    my sister (who is much sweeter and more eager to please than I am) always got very upset – she would follow the instructions exactly, and her teeth would over-correct (I guess they built in a certain amount of assumed non-compliance) so mom would tell her to cut back some from what the doctor said, but then she would get scolded when she admitted she hadn’t followed the directions exactly, even though her teeth had adjusted the correct amount.
    looking back, mom probably should have spoken to the orthodontist about this. oh well.

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