The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

As a mom, you’re already well aware of the multiple hats you have to wear to keep family life functioning smoothly. Cook, nurse, chauffeur, event planner, accountant – sometimes the list can seem endless! Fortunately, there’s one hat you don’t have to wear just because you’re a mother – that of an orthodontist. While you may be a pro at juggling work, school, and extracurriculars, your child’s oral health requires real expertise and guidance. That’s where we come in!

Being an orthodontist requires a great deal of additional training after dental school, resulting in highly-trained specialists that are experts in tooth movement, facial growth, and dental development. Dr. Faja-Fernandez has years of experience in improving oral health and aligning teeth and jaws. You can count on Seabreeze Orthodontics to give your child a lasting smile that looks and feels great.

You may not be an expert on orthodontics, our doctors are! We know orthodontic care is a big investment in your child’s oral health and smile, and we take the trust that you’ve placed in our expert team seriously. It’s important to us that you feel confident in the journey ahead, so let’s take a closer look at some of the important things you should know about the orthodontic process before you child begins treatment!

(Is your child around 7 years of age? Click here to schedule a FREE orthodontic evaluation!)

Orthodontics is about more than just straight smiles

It’s a common misconception that orthodontics focuses on straightening smiles, and not much else. In reality, it addresses crooked teeth and so much more! Straight teeth aren’t  the only indicator of a healthy smile, which is why orthodontists learn how to diagnose, prevent, and correct malpositioned teeth and jaws. By examining a patient’s teeth, the movement and growth of their jaw, and the way the teeth are developing, they can catch any impacted, missing, or overcrowded teeth that may otherwise go unnoticed. This often allows them to correct these issues before they become bigger problems that require more intense treatment.

Dr. Juan with a young patient

Children should have an initial orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7

Orthodontics are often associated with braces and teens, but patients of all ages can benefit from improved oral health. Because this stereotype is so pervasive, it may surprise you to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic exam by about the age of 7. Because their mouths are still developing and they still have baby teeth, it gives orthodontists the chance to pick up on any potential problems early on, helping to lessen or eliminate a negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth and bite.

We treat many younger patients here at Seabreeze Orthodontics, and we’ve seen firsthand the difference that preventive care can make. Starting treatment at the right time can have a big impact on a child’s oral health! Most children don’t require any active treatment at first, but an early exam is still important since it lets us determine if and when any orthodontic treatment is likely to be indicated.

Pick an orthodontic office that works for your family

Undergoing any kind of orthodontic treatment means spending quite a bit of time in the orthodontist’s office. Most patients will need to be seen every 6-12 weeks or so, depending on the type of treatment. Finding an office you and your child feel comfortable with is essential to a positive experience. Our Myrtle Beach office is conveniently located and provides the highest-quality care in a comfortable, friendly environment. Because we use only the latest technology and most innovative treatments, you can always be sure you’re receiving the most efficient treatment and the best results possible.

To help potential patients feel more relaxed, we offer tours of our office where you can meet our team, walk through our office and treatment areas, and learn more about the treatments we provide.

Multiple treatment options are available

At Seabreeze Orthodontics, we take pride in combining cutting-edge techniques with customized treatment plans to help our patients achieve straighter, healthier smiles. The following treatments are available in our office.

Traditional metal braces

Metal braces are generally composed of high-quality stainless steel brackets, wires, and bands, making them durable and long-lasting. These components work together over time to guide the teeth into the desired positions. Today’s braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than ever before, and can even be personalized by choosing elastics from a wide variety of colors. They’re also a reliable and affordable option that can be particularly useful in more severe or complicated cases.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces, or clear braces, are similar to traditional braces but the brackets are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the natural tooth color. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics and ties, they offer patients an incredibly discrete treatment option. Although ceramic braces are durable, they can be more prone to breakage than their metal counterparts. For this reason, we generally only recommend them for older teens and adults.

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Instead of the brackets and wires that braces use, Invisalign is built on a series of clear, customized aligners. The aligners are nearly invisible and completely removable, giving patients extra freedom and flexibility. They’re made from a soft but strong thermoplastic resin, meaning patients can avoid some of the friction and abrasions that braces can cause. Once the teeth begin to shift, aligners will need to be changed out every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement.

Invisalign relies almost entirely on patient compliance to work. Aligners must be worn a minimum of 20-22 hours every day throughout the course of treatment in order to achieve the results you desire. The system tends to work best for mild to moderate orthodontic issues, so it may not always be suitable for patients with more complex cases.

Dr. Juan talking to a mom patient

Treatment times will vary

When it comes to how long a patient will be in braces or aligners, there’s no “one size fits all” answer. Every case is different, and each patient responds to treatment in their own way. The length of time that your child will require treatment will depend on their specific case, the severity of the problem, the health of their teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and how compliant they are. On average, however, braces tend to be worn for about 12 to 24 months, while Invisalign treatment averages about 12 to 18 months.

Give your child the gift of a lasting smile with Seabreeze Orthodontics

As a mom, you want nothing but the best for your child, and that includes a healthy, beautiful smile that will last them a lifetime. If you have a child age 7 or above that is ready for their first orthodontic consultation, we’d love to meet you both and explain more about how orthodontics can benefit them. If you’re in Myrtle Beach and would like more information on what we have to offer, get in touch today to schedule a FREE exam!