Vision & Orthodontics
Roughly 20 percent of children age 9 to 15 need some sort of vision correction. The simple tests given at schools often overlook many vision issues. We perform comprehensive eye exams to evaluate your child’s eyes and determine if corrective measures are appropriate. During our exam we’ll test for:
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Farsightedness (hyperopia)
- Lazy Eye (amblyopia)
- Crossed-Eyes (strabismus)
A healthy-looking smile is an asset that your child will appreciate for a lifetime. For many children, orthodontics are necessary to make sure they achieve that perfect smile. Braces and other orthodontic appliances are the best methods for straightening your child’s teeth. They also can help eliminate the need for tooth extractions and other bite related problems that may grow more serious if left untreated.
There are several options for braces, but all of them can accomplish the following:
- Help the jaw grow properly
- Minimize the risk of accident or injury due to protrusion of the front teeth
- Patient’s facial structure will hold up better over time
- Fixing a bad bite helps ensure a more symmetric face
- Permanent teeth will be in a much more comfortable and usable position
- The patient’s face will be more aesthetically pleasing
- Lessen the chance of orthodontics in the patient’s future
Orthodontics come in several forms, metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By applying steady, gentle force, braces slowly move teeth into proper position. You and your child can usually choose what type of bracket you’d like, clear or metallic, and you may have the option to choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in the brackets. Braces technology has come a long way in recent decades. Thanks to these advances, some styles are much less noticeable than older styles used to be, and they work much more efficiently.
The length of time your child needs braces can vary, but it usually takes 1 to 3 years to thoroughly move teeth into place. In rare cases, adjustment can take longer. Early interventions can take even less time—6 to 12 months. There is a good chance that the earlier you get your child orthodontics, the sooner they’ll be showing off a winning smile.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the first orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than the age of 7. At this age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate any potential problems and the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides dental growth and development, preventing serious positioning problems later. When orthodontic intervention isn’t necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it’s ideal.
By the age of 7, the first adult molars come in and help to establish the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. An orthodontist can identify if one tooth is growing in crooked and pushing neighboring teeth. Such instances are rare, but if left unchecked, can lead to painful problems later that will take longer to correct. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.