At Murphy Orthodontics, we are passionate about helping our younger patients experience the life-changing effects of quality orthodontic care. Braces are a tried and true appliance that has been modified over the years to deliver the same flawless results with a sleeker appearance. When a child is put in braces, not only do they benefit from improved aesthetics and health, but also from improved confidence. Our own orthodontist is the first to tell our patients how wearing braces vastly improved his confidence and self-esteem. Our skilled team is ready to help your child get the care they deserve to achieve a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
When Should I Consider Taking My Child to See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children ages seven and older see an orthodontist. While they may not be ready for treatment at this age, signs of overcrowding and misaligned bites become more evident as their adult teeth emerge. Many times your general dentist will be the first to notice orthodontic issues and refer you for treatment, but we understand no one knows your child better than you. Dr. Murphy suggests you look into treatment if you notice that your child:
- Struggles to bite or chew properly.
- Starts losing baby teeth long before they are six or well after they are 13.
- Sucks their thumb after age five.
- Struggles to speak correctly.
- Shifts their jaw when they close or open their mouth.
- Has teeth that don’t meet together correctly.
- Grinds or clenches their teeth.
- Is biting the roof of their mouth or the inside of their cheek often.
- Is showing signs of crowding as their permanent teeth come in.
- Has teeth poking out at incorrect angles in the mouth.
We welcome patients with or without dentist referrals to come in for a complimentary consultation so we can identify any orthodontic needs your child may have as well as answer your questions about potential treatment.
How Can an Orthodontist Help My Child?
Our field is well-known for creating gorgeous smiles that last. While improved aesthetics is a great benefit of orthodontics, you will find that the benefits of treatment go above and beyond looks. Through braces, your child can enjoy better oral and overall health. Over time, crowded teeth and misaligned bites may affect the way your child chews, bites, speaks, and more. It is also more difficult for them to efficiently clean their teeth when they aren’t in the correct position. Braces can be used to straighten these teeth and realign the jaw so your child can Smile Easy and Live Happy.
When necessary, early treatment can be a useful tool for creating beautiful and healthy smiles that last for years to come. Younger patients usually enjoy quicker and more successful treatments because their mouths are still growing and much easier to influence. By treating an issue now, we protect them from suffering from bigger orthodontic problems in the future.
While braces can be a great way to protect the future of your child’s smile, we never want to put them in treatment prematurely. Our team will always act in our patient’s best interest and only suggest treatment we think are necessary. During their first appointment, one of our team members will take pictures and X-rays of your smile for our doctor to review. Dr. Murphy will then explain our treatments to you and give his expert recommendation on how to move forward. We want our patients to feel comfortable and well-informed every step of the way, and we welcome questions about orthodontics and our treatment plans.
What to Expect When Your Child Starts
If you and our doctor decide that braces treatment is right for your child, we are able to start them the same day as their first consultation. We understand that it can be difficult to arrange schedules around orthodontic visits, and we don’t want to have your child pulled out of school for a separate appointment. In order to honor your investment of time and money, we have simplified our process and made getting braces put on as easy as possible.
There may be some initial discomfort as your child gets used to having the appliance in their mouths, but children are typically able to adjust to the change faster than any of our other patients. To help ease their discomfort, we suggest using an over-the-counter pain medication or applying braces wax to the areas causing irritation.
We offer various braces options for our family of patients so they can choose which appliance fits best into their lifestyle. Our traditional metal braces are a patient favorite because of their consistently amazing results and durability. For this treatment, we place brackets on each of the teeth and use a wire to connect each of these brackets. Throughout your child’s time in braces, we will adjust the wire, so their teeth have consistent pressure pushing them into the correct position. After we place the wire, we bind it to the brackets using rubber bands that can be personalized to match their favorite colors.
While metal braces have been used for generations, we are proud to offer an appliance that is sleeker and more effective than braces of years past. Instead of steel wires, we use heat-activated NiTi wires that will adjust over time, so your child will only need to come in every eight weeks rather than once a month. This means they can spend more time in class and less time in one of our chairs.
In addition to our metal braces, we also offer clear ceramic braces. This appliance is perfect for our patients who want the same great results of braces while preserving the natural beauty of their smile throughout treatment. Similarly to metal braces, we use brackets, wires, and rubber bands to move your teeth into the desired position. However, clear braces use ceramic brackets that blend with the color of your teeth to give you a more natural look. When deciding which treatment is right for your child, it’s important to note that ceramic brackets are less durable than metal ones and may not be a good fit for everyone.