Tooth Talk: All About That Brace

Stephanie B. Swords, DDSUncategorized


At Swords Family Dentistry, we love treating families, and treating families also means caring for the smiles you enjoy most—the smiles of your children! Early recognition of orthodontic concerns by your general dentist and a referral to an orthodontic specialist when indicated, will give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than 7-8 years of age? Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent or intercept more complex problems from developing, and as a result, may shorten the treatment time at a later age, and make treatment less complicated. Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to guide jaw growth, correct harmful oral habits, guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position, minimize the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, and improve appearance. Drawing from personal experience, I started orthodontic treatment at the end of my sophomore year of high school, much later than the majority of my peers. As a patient who had to wear a palatal expander, headgear, and elastics for varying lengths of time over my 2 ½ years of being in braces, I devote a large part of my time discussing with parents, the benefit of orthodontic treatment for their children at a young age.

Coordinating regular dental visits with orthodontic care is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums during and after orthodontic treatment. Sometimes it is necessary to have your child’s teeth professionally cleaned more often while in braces. It is also important to obtain a “cavity clearance” prior to initiating orthodontic treatment. By taking care of any treatment needs prior to getting braces, you minimize the risk of tooth decay worsening during orthodontic treatment, and help ensure a healthy start to a beautiful smile for your child.