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How Early Should I Start Orthodontic Treatment?

August 21st, 2020

Early Orthodontic Treatment

One common question from parents regarding their children is how early is too early to start orthodontic treatment. People of any age can benefit from braces, but children should specifically visit an orthodontist for an assessment starting at age eight.

Orthodontics is more than just braces. By bringing your child to the orthodontist between the ages of eight and 10 years old, you can allow the orthodontist to evaluate your child’s teeth. This will help you to determine if they need any pressing treatments. 

What is Early Orthodontics

Although many people correlate orthodontics with braces, there is much more to orthodontics. Early Orthodontics are treatments that specifically take place before braces. This is when a child is between eight to 10 years old. By doing this, your orthodontist can detect anything that needs to be evaluated early. Whether this is protruding teeth, crowding, spacing, or missing teeth, it will allow you to get a headstart on any treatments that may become more complicated.

How to Know if Your Child Needs Early Orthodontics

There are a few signs to look out for that will allow you to be aware of if your child may need early orthodontic treatment. These signs include:

  • Loss of baby teeth before the age of five
  • Misaligned or uneven bite
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Crowded front teeth (will be seen as early as seven or eight years old)
  • Protruding front teeth
  • Difficulties chewing 
  • Speech impediments
  • Shifting jaw when opening or closing mouth
  • Sucking thumbs or fingers when older than five years old

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

When children are young, their jawbones are still soft. Their jawbones do not harden until they are in their late teens. This is one of the main benefits of early orthodontic treatment because the bones can be easily moved. Corrective procedures are extremely easy when the jaw is soft, and things go a lot more quickly.

This is not to say that children should be getting braces or other procedures too early simply because they are kids. Despite this, early treatment is effective to lay the foundation of a healthy adult mouth and the foundation for a healthy and well-functioning mouth in adulthood.

Even if your child’s teeth look straight, there might be issues under the surface. By addressing these early, you can prevent more serious problems down the road. Early intervention typically means any further treatment will be simple and cause less pain. It can also provide financial benefits in the long run.

What is a Normal Age to Get Braces?

People can get braces at any age, but getting braces between the ages of 10 to 15 with permanent teeth is a great option. This is because the head and mouth are still growing at this age. Between the ages of 10 to 15, orthodontic treatment is the most effective because the tissues are softer and teeth align more easily.

Considering Early Orthodontics?

Whether you see something concerning in the mouth of your child or are looking for preventative measures, early orthodontics is definitely something to consider. 

What to Expect at Your First Visit

July 31st, 2020

Orthodontists help to correct misplaced teeth and align jaws. Most commonly, you might go to an orthodontist for braces. It is very common for children to see an orthodontist as young as eight, but adults visit orthodontists all the time! Whether you are looking to correct your smile, or get an idea of what your child needs, orthodontists can do it all.

Many adults and children alike have stress and anxiety involved with visiting the orthodontist. If you are in the same boat, then it can be nice to know what to expect before your first consultation.

Understanding Your Medical and Dental History

Your orthodontist will typically have you first fill out your medical and dental history. Your orthodontist is a type of doctor. This means that everything needs to be correct to treat you properly. In this information, you might include the last time you saw a dentist, had x-rays done, and if you are on any medication.

You will also be asked for information regarding your general medical history. This helps your orthodontist to make the best decisions regarding your treatment.

Oral Examination

The first face-to-face interaction you might have with your orthodontist is an oral examination. One example of what your orthodontist can discover in an examination is if you have a cavity. It will need to be filled before having braces put on.

In your oral examination, you can expect the following:

  • Using hand tools to examine teeth and gums
  • Dental molding
  • Dental imaging, this includes x-rays of both your teeth and jaw

Deciding on a Treatment Plan

After understanding your medical history and completing the examination, your orthodontist will put together your treatment plan. Your treatment plan can include having dental issues corrected, scheduling appointments with your dentist, or a specialist.

The treatment plan should include everything that needs to be done to achieve your desired results. After discussing your treatment plan, you should have a full understanding of everything that they plan to do for you.

Ask Questions

Now is the time for you to get clarification on anything you are concerned about or do not understand. Your orthodontist should give you enough time to ask all the questions you need, and give you answers

They may also give you educational material to read regarding the services you will be having done.

Payment and Insurance

Now that you have all of the information regarding what you will need, you will now discuss your payment options. Often, this is done with the front desk. If you have insurance, then you will discuss this, and pay your deductible or co-pay.

If you do not have insurance, or it is not covered by your insurance, then you can discuss other options. Most orthodontists offer payment plans and financing, if necessary.

Schedule Your Next Appointment

Now that you have completed your initial visit, you can schedule your first real appointment. When picking a date or time, try to keep in mind that you will have a different time commitment for every procedure.

To get started on your orthodontic journey, contact us for your Orthodontics Free Consultation today!

Pros and Cons of Braces.

July 3rd, 2020

No one likes braces; few teenagers will be excited to hear from the dentist that they need to see an orthodontist. But braces are often a necessary evil when it comes to the health and longevity of your mouth and facial bones. There’s a lot of questions patients will have when they’re told they need to get braces. There’s a lot of concerns as well. Your dental and orthodontic professional can answer a lot of these questions and concerns for you but we can help give you a primer for the needs and benefits of braces.

From improved cardiovascular health, to respiratory benefits, to a boost in your confidence in your professional and personal life. If you’re unsure, we can give you a primer for what to expect from your life after braces. But talking to a professional is the first start.

Improved Health

The most important reason to get braces is because it can improve your overall dental and oral health. Teeth that are crooked or misaligned can be more difficult to brush and floss thoroughly. This results in more cavities and more intense dental work like fillings and root canals. This will also help protect your gums from gingivitis and other gum infections. A lot of diseases start in the mouth and you can do your part to help your body’s natural defenses but getting braces.

It Can Help Your Breathing

You may not think about the way your teeth and dental health can affect your breathing, but the roof of your mouth and teeth can actually block your airways. This results in poor sleep, potential apnea, and respiratory problems. Braces can help adjust the alignment of your teeth and jaw to improve your breathing and help you live a happier and more comfortable life. You may find you have an improved reaction to allergies and even exercise induced asthma.

Lower Risk for Heart Disease

Studies have found a link between braces and lower heart disease. Gum disease is related to cardiovascular disease and braces help prevent gum disease linked to cardiovascular problems by eliminating the crooked teeth that can become a trap for bacteria in the mouth.

Confidence

One obvious benefit of braces is it can boost your self estimate when they finally do come off. Braces are designed to tackle the problem of crooked teeth and can therefore improve your smile. An improved smile can be a huge confidence booster for you and can lead to successes elsewhere in life including professional career opportunities and your social life.

There’s a lot more braces can offer you. And there’s a lot to worry about. Braces can be uncomfortable, they can be a social stigma during your time wearing them, and they cost money. At the time of diagnosis they can be scary and upsetting, but they lead to a healthier overall life and improvements in your social and professional life as well. Talking to an orthodontist can help get the conversation going on how braces can help improve your dental and oral hygiene and smile.

Will My Orthodontist Accept Medicaid?

May 26th, 2020

Since 1965, the United States' Medicaid program has helped low-income Americans get the health care coverage they need, whether that comes in the form of doctor visits or longer term medical care. In some cases, the program can even aid with dental care. According to Medicaid.gov, states have to provide dental benefits to children in the program. However, that's not necessarily the case for adults. States get the final say when it comes to Medicaid dental benefits for people over 21 years of age.

With that in mind, you may have to spend some time researching your options when looking for a Medicaid orthodontist. You'll find some establishments who offer certain types of insurance coverage but not others.

Opportunities and Limitations

Medicare may offer some dental benefits for older individuals, and you can inquire about those specific benefits when visiting a dentist or orthodontist. However, when it comes to orthodontic braces, the program will only offer full coverage for children under the age of 21.

Additionally, the braces must be considered medically necessary before a child receives full cost coverage. A medical evaluation – involving a review of X-rays and other records – will help determine whether or not a child qualifies. If coverage is denied, you can set up another evaluation after a year has passed.

So, what exactly does "medically necessary" mean? If the orthodontic braces corrects an issue such as speech problems, trauma, or impacted teeth, they may be deemed a necessity.

Evaluation Process

  1. Call an orthodontist and schedule an appointment for an evaluation. You'll want to ensure the appointment is scheduled for a time when the child's Medicare coverage is still active.
  2. The staff will take X-rays of the child's oral cavity and write a report to explain what the images revealed.
  3. The Medicaid office will take a look at the findings and decide whether braces will be a necessary solution to the problem. This step could take several weeks or even a little longer than a month to complete.
  4. You'll be notified of the office's decision. Denials can be appealed. If the coverage is approved, further appointments can be scheduled with the orthodontist to begin treatment.

Whether your child is denied coverage for braces or you're an adult looking for braces, it helps to talk with dental professionals who are both skilled and willing to work with you to find financial solutions.

All About Braces serves the Denver, North Aurora, and Lakewood communities, and our staff will take steps to help make your visits and treatments affordable. Not only do we accept Medicaid, but we also accept a variety of insurance plans. We also offer financing options to suit your specific budget. You might even find that you qualify for certain discounts if other family members visit our office or if you can pay in full at the beginning of the treatment.

We're always looking forward to meeting new patients, and, best of all, initial exams are complimentary. Reach out to us online or via phone call for more information.

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