October is the time of year when the weather starts to get a little chilly, the leaves begin to change color, and warmer clothes come out of storage. For children, October means a month of Halloween celebration, costumes, and candy!
At Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry, October is the time we recognize National Orthodontic Health Month, a month devoted to celebrating healthy smiles and learning about the benefits of orthodontic treatment and how it relates to good oral health.
Dental health professionals from all over the country work together to promote their services and inform our communities about the important work that our orthodontists do. If you’re new to orthodontic health, we’ll break it down for you!
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists specialize in the straightening or moving of teeth to improve their appearance, correct their functioning, make them easier to clean and help with the long-term care of your teeth, gums and jaw joints by evenly distributing pressure to all of your teeth.
Common reasons that people seek orthodontic treatment include having crooked or crowded teeth, prominent teeth, or an incorrect bite. If teeth with these problems are left untreated, they can result in more oral health problems, including tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, or even jaw problems.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD MY CHILD SEE AN ORTHODONTIST?
Catching conditions as early as possible increases the likelihood that the teeth, jaw, and broader oral structure will develop normally. That’s one of the reasons we encourage parents to schedule a visit with us by the time their child reaches the age of seven.
Every mouth is different and has its issues specific to the individual. For children, the most common problems are related to poor tooth alignment. This can be caused by overcrowding; some children’s mouths are simply smaller than the teeth they are trying to accommodate.
Protrusion of the upper front teeth, known as “buck teeth,” is caused when the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw. This condition has many causes: tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, genetics, and other complications. When the lower front teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth, the condition is known as an underbite.
There are additional bite issues as well as spacing issues that cause gaps and dental shifting. All of these can have broader health effects for children as well as challenges for developing self-esteem and overall confidence.
If you think your child may need orthodontic treatment, please give us a call. Our Alameda and Oakland offices provide a full array of orthodontic therapies, procedures, and treatments to help each child toward a beautiful smile. We can also refer you to one of our excellent orthodontic partners in the Pleasanton area.