Did you have to wear braces when you were young? A significant percentage of us adults did, with varying levels of discomfort and impact on the rest of our life activities. While some of us may look back on those as unpleasant memories, they probably aren’t as unpleasant as the ones we would have without the benefit of braces! Your dentist in Knightdale, NC uses this orthodontic tool to avoid the need for more painful dental procedures later on, like tooth extraction and realigning teeth by using other methods. In modern dentistry, though, we’ve taken things a step farther: preventative orthodontics can drastically reduce the time and discomfort related to the use of braces for your kids. Here’s a quick explanation of how your dentist in Knightdale, NC uses braces and other tools to guide your kids’ permanent teeth into place as comfortably as possible.
Braces remain an essential and commonly used tool in helping adult teeth grow into the right positions. This is important not just for appearance, but for oral health as well. Crooked, misaligned teeth create areas where bacteria and food particles can become lodged between the teeth and gums, leading to a lifelong risk of infection. When your family dentist in Raleigh installs braces and monitors them during the transitional period, he ensures that the new dental structure is a strong and healthy foundation for the rest of the patient’s life.
Orthodontic spacers can be used by your dentist in Knightdale, NC to prepare the patient’s dental structure for braces. Sometimes two of the patient’s teeth have already grown in incorrectly, leaving a spot between them that is too small for the incoming permanent tooth. The dentist places a spacer between those two teeth, a small rubber or metal device which slowly pushes them apart to make room for the new tooth. Typically, the spacer only remains in place for a week or two leading up to the installation of braces, and it ensures that the braces can hold the entire dental structure in just the right position while the rest of the permanent teeth grow in.
Orthodontic expanders are one of the most beneficial tools that your dentist in Knightdale, NC has at his disposal. With minimal discomfort and interruption to normal life, they have the ability to correct “bad bites”—that is, misalignment between the top and bottom jaws. The use of expanders is based on the fact that a child’s upper jaw continues to grow and is flexible until his early teen years. By slowly, gently pushing the upper jaw into the correct position over the course of several months during that growth period, the jaws can be made to fit together correctly, setting the young patient up for a lifetime of normal eating, speech, and good oral health.
A Skilled Family Dentist in Knightdale, NC
Kids are not generally excited about having spacers, expanders, or braces installed—they’re too busy with sports, playing with friends, and other “kid stuff” to worry about what’s going on with their teeth. It’s up to us as parents to look to the future and understand that if we don’t catch tooth misalignment, irregular jaw growth, or other problems with the dental structure early, our kids will eventually have to deal with frequent infections, a less-than-perfect smile, and severe discomfort as teeth push against or away from each other. With the help of your family-friendly, expert dentist in Knightdale, NC, you can guide your kids through this critical development period to a great, healthy foundation in oral health.
Dr. Eric Ladimer and his entire team at New Hope Dental Care consider it a special privilege to help children, and they are uniquely skilled at putting them at ease during these and other orthodontic procedures. Make us your first call for preventative orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and regularly scheduled exams for you and your entire family. Scheduling your first visit is as easy as checking out our “Request an Appointment” page and telling us what the most convenient time for you is. We can’t wait to see you come in the door, and we look forward to serving you with excellent, compassionate dentistry.