What is the age when a child should be evaluated for orthodontic care?
The American academy of orthodontics recommends all children should have an orthodontic assessment by age seven. The general dentist plays a key role in recommending the child to the orthodontist based on the oral condition of the child. Braces aren’t just for kids. More and more adults are also wearing braces to correct minor problems and improve their smiles.
What are the signs that a parent could proactively look out for, in a child to evaluate dental problems?
It is good for all adults and children to see their general dentist for their dental check up every 6months. The general dentist will educate the parents about the kid’s oral hygiene care and proper nutrition and will let parents know if there are any dental issues.
If determined that a child needs braces, what is the right age to start?
Orthodontics is done in stages to correct immediate problems and future issues to improve a person’s ‘orofacial ‘ appearance. Interceptive orthodontics is popular and simply means treating and diagnosing malocclusion as soon as they are detected. The ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years of age while the head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more accessible to straightening. However the time for starting treatment is specific to each patient. The orthodontist will make a recommendation accordingly.
What are the different kinds of braces?
There are different kinds of braces like metal braces that were used for the longest time and are still in use. There are newer materials available such as ceramic tooth colored braces which are more esthetically pleasing and there is removable invisalign aligners. Invisalign aligners are clear trays and are more common among the adult population. Each type is specific to each person. Ask your orthodontist and they will be able to recommend the best one for you.
What is abscess/pimple in the gums and why does it happen?
An abscess is an infection in the gums. There are various reasons why an abscess develops in the gums. There could be a decayed tooth that is left untreated. The decay goes into the nerve of the tooth and germs grow there killing the nerve and forming infection thus developing an abscess. There could be gum disease where in the gums are not healthy due to lot of tarter build up , making the gums inflamed and thus developing the abscess.
The best way to avoid these conditions is proper oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day, flossing and using a mouthwash and rinsing mouth regularly with clear water, especially after eating something.
Also regular visits to the dentist to get your teeth checked every 6 months is very important. The regular dental visit helps with identifying any issues in the initial stages and treating them earlier rather that later .
Author: Dr. Aruna Krishnamurthi
Dr Aruna is a general dentist in the greater Seattle area. She is a mother of two young girls. Apart from dentistry, she is passionate about cooking and topics related to kids education. She spends her free time in volunteering activities and outdoor activities.