It’s finally summer – the days are long, the nights are cool, and your kids and you get to sleep in. You probably aren’t thinking about teeth, but you should be. Believe it or not, this is the perfect time of year to explore new orthodontic treatment options for your child.
Has your child had a full orthodontic evaluation yet? Lincoln Orthodontics – along with the American Association of Orthodontists – recommends all children be screened for orthodontic issues before they reach the age of seven. This lets your child begin receiving active treatment when they’re between the ages of 10-14 because that’s when most of their permanent teeth will have erupted. However, it’s sometimes better for treatment to start earlier in order to take advantage of the natural growth process of the jaw. Whether your child is six or sixteen, we believe summer is the best time of the year to start orthodontic treatment.
During the school year, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities can make you feel like you can’t possibly fit one more thing into your already busy schedule. This is why summer is an excellent time to bring your child in for their free initial consultation. This appointment takes a little extra time because it covers quite a bit of ground, but includes things like:
- Creating a customized treatment plan for your child based on their specific needs
- Discussing the financial information, insurance options and the affordable payment plans we offer
- Reviewing your child’s dental and medical history forms
- An oral exam with X-rays to determine if any treatment is necessary
An important point to remember is that once your child’s orthodontic treatment begins, office visits do not end. We’ll need to see them about once every 4-8 weeks for check-ups to be sure everything is progressing the way that it should be. This can take some getting used to, and summer is a much easier time to get into a new routine since a family’s schedule tends to be more open and relaxed.
More Time for New Routines
Modern orthodontics have made some big changes to treatments like traditional braces. Braces still take some time to feel comfortable, but they’re much lighter and more comfortable than ever before. Once the braces go on and sometimes after adjustments, your child’s mouth might ache and there are also several food restrictions for kids to get used to. These things can be a distraction when they are trying to get through the school day. Outside of the classroom and lunchroom, your child can avoid the temptation of all those sticky and crunchy snacks their friends have in their lunches, sticking to soft and simple foods that will be easy on their mouth.
Even if you have an older child who’s a good candidate for Invisalign, there’s still a slight learning curve involved. The Invisalign clear aligner system works by wearing a series of removable aligners over the teeth every day, which make slight adjustments to their positions over time.
These aligners are replaced every 1-2 weeks, allowing the tooth straightening process to continue. The key to getting the best results is to wear them as directed. Keeping them in for less than the recommended 20-22 hours every day can result in extending your child’s treatment time. With no homework, tests, or school projects hanging over their head, the relaxed atmosphere summer provides is a fantastic time to get used to the ins and outs of orthodontic treatment from the air-conditioned comfort of home.
Perfecting an Oral Hygiene Routine
During the school year, we know how easy it can be to slack off on even the most basic brushing routine. Those early morning wake-up calls and late night study sessions can leave your child ready to fall into bed without even glancing at their toothbrush, but a good dental hygiene routine is one of the most important things your child can do to achieve and maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. At Lincoln Orthodontics we recommend brushing and flossing thoroughly at least 3-4 times daily, once after each meal and again before bed. Orthodontic treatment can straighten teeth, but it won’t keep them clean.
Braces will take a little extra effort when it comes to dental hygiene due to all the nooks and crannies, and it can take some experimenting to find a routine that works. Not having to get up at the crack of dawn or be in bed by a certain time means your child will have plenty of hours left in the day to practice achieving the kind of oral hygiene that will keep their smile healthy.
With everyone enjoying a break from the stresses of school, there’s no better time than summer for your child to begin their journey towards a straighter smile. Lincoln Orthodontics is here to get them started. Our experienced and talented team believe in making orthodontic visits an enjoyable experience.
You’ll feel like family, from your first appointment to your last. We’re dedicated to creating a fun, friendly atmosphere where we treat the whole person, and not just the teeth. Your child’s overall oral health is our ultimate goal, but we’re able to give them a beautiful and functional smile in the process. If you are in the greater Lincoln area and have a child you think may benefit from orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign, stop by our office or call today to set up a consultation. Let’s get your summer started right.