All children are beautiful. But if we’re honest, we’d admit that most of them experience an awkward, ugly duckling phase. Their gait is clumsy, their limbs seem too long, and their joints are bony and sharp.
Grownups know from experience that kids will grow out of that stage, and their body parts will eventually end up proportionate and graceful. But, when a child’s smile is off, most parents immediately assume that braces are in order.
At Gaiduchik Orthodontics in Carmichael, California, Dr. Andrey Gaiduchik and our team specialize in correcting crooked smiles, and we understand that parents have questions about their child’s need for treatment.
You celebrated the eruption of your child’s first tooth and recorded it in the baby book, and you did the same when the first tooth fell out. These are important milestones in your child’s development and worthy of recognition. But you may find your excitement taking a downturn as you notice unsightly gaps and angles that make your child’s smile look less cute than it once did.
Naturally, you wonder whether your kid needs braces or if the teeth will work their way straight as the years roll on.
If your kid can slurp soup through the gap in their front teeth or hold a straw without using their lips, you may assume braces are in their future — maybe, maybe not.
Flared teeth, gaps, and minor misalignments are a normal part of tooth development. As your child’s jaw develops and the permanent teeth emerge and settle in, you may find that the spaces close up and the smile looks fine.
Sometimes, crooked, misaligned teeth indicate a problem that requires orthodontic treatment, and the only way to know for sure is to visit Dr. Gaiduchik so that he can check your child’s teeth.
By the time your child is seven, Dr. Gaiduchik can tell if they will grow out of the normal transition stage of tooth development or if the smile flaws are due to underlying problems. He can even detect future problems before they occur by analyzing 3D digital X-rays that reveal the teeth’s trajectory and available space.
Nearly half of all children require orthodontic treatment to resolve crooked teeth and misaligned bites. The younger they are when they begin treatment, the easier it is because teeth are more mobile when the jaw is still forming. Early orthodontic treatment can even prevent problems from occurring in the first place.
If Dr. Gaiduchik determines that your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment, he helps you and your child choose the best option. Your child’s age, maturity, lifestyle, and oral health condition are important factors in the decision, but there are several types of orthodontics available.
Traditional braces are the standard, time-honored treatment that fixes everything from crowding and gaps to misaligned teeth and jaws. These braces are made of metal brackets and wires that adhere to your teeth permanently during the treatment period and gradually force the teeth into the correct positions with the help of rubber bands.
Clear braces aren’t see-through, but they do blend in with the natural color of your teeth, so they’re much less noticeable than metal braces. Other than their color and material, they work exactly like traditional braces.
Self-ligating braces differ from traditional braces in that they adhere to the backside of your teeth where no one can see them. They also use a different mechanism — a sliding spring clip — to straighten your teeth without the need for rubber bands.
Clear aligners offer yet another teeth-straightening system that differs from the tried-and-true braces option. Although some people still consider them new, clear aligners have been around since the late 1990s and have proven themselves as effective as traditional braces in almost every way.
This system uses invisible, removable trays that snap onto your teeth. If worn at least 22 hours daily, they can correct crowding, misalignments, gaps, and overlaps.
Dr. Gaiduchik trusts the Spark® brand, which uses the proprietary TruGEN™ material, containing no BPAs, latex, or gluten.
Contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gaiduchik and find out if your child’s teeth are just going through a phase or need orthodontic treatment.