Good Oral Hygiene: National Children’s Dental Health Month

Oral hygiene for kids is usually a concern for a lot of parents, especially when their kids have braces on. Kids spend almost 6 hours at a school, and they participate in numerous activities throughout the year. And at this age, they’re super thrilled to take up new tasks or play a new sport. They may even enjoy candies and sodas while they head back home.

But little do they know how much it’s affecting their baby teeth when they have braces on. This February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! So take a pledge with your child to get rid of those nasties that love to hide inside your mouth. Koch Orthodontics is dedicated to encouraging good oral hygiene for kids. And they believe that early orthodontic treatment can address issues that may continue to develop and worsen over time.

Before you head over to us, make sure your sticky notes read the below important to-dos!

Tips to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene for Kids

1. Brushing

Brushing with braces requires some extra effort. Use a dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush and you’re ready to get started. Make sure to get the tops, the fronts, and the back of your teeth. Plaque loves to hide especially if you have kids with braces. Brushing in a circular motion helps your toothbrush get into all of plaque’s favorite hiding spots.

2. Flossing

When you floss your teeth, make sure to get all the way into your gums. And plaque loves to hide up there too. Good oral care requires must include flossing!

3. Rinsing

Make sure to finish with a rinse. You don’t want to swallow any toothpaste or you could get a stomach ache.

4. Mouthwash

Finally, finish with a mouthwash. Mouthwash with fluoride in it can help make your teeth stronger. Swish the mouthwash for around 30 seconds, and then make sure you spit it all out. Just like toothpaste, mouthwash can give you a stomach ache if you swallow it. So make sure you spit it out.

Here Are Some Possible Dental Issues for Kids With Braces:

1. Gum Disease

The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. But is there a connection between braces and gingivitis? There certainly is a strong relationship between the occurrence of gingivitis and oral hygiene! The first thing to look out for kids with braces is to visit the dentist. They can recommend a treatment that will help combat the problem. Your child may require a dental cleaning of plaque and tartar on the teeth. And remember, poor nutrition and poor oral hygiene have a big role to play!

In cases where Gingivitis is not identified and treated, it can lead to Periodontitis, a later stage of gum disease. Periodontitis includes infection and inflammation of the gums. This gradually spreads to the ligaments and bone that assist the teeth. The gums begin to expand, forming gaps or pockets between your teeth to allow significant plaque accumulation.

2. Cavities

Oral hygiene with braces can be demanding. And this is when you’re at an increased risk of getting cavities. Cavities when not treated can eventually lead to tooth decay, so check your child’s teeth regularly.

3. Decalcifications

Decalcifications that are commonly known as “white spots” are lasting stain marks around your braces. And before you allow them to permanently paint your teeth, make sure you brush well!

Good oral hygiene doesn’t require too much of an effort. And the above tips are just basic steps to keep your child’s teeth healthy and happy.

If you’re looking for an experienced and friendly orthodontist for kids in Lawrenceville, book an appointment with Koch Orthodontist today to create a new smile you always wanted for your child. Call us at (770) 962-9560.

Dental Braces Before or After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

A common concern for most parents is whether their child should get dental braces before or after their wisdom tooth extraction. Parents believe that there is a likelihood of a wisdom tooth eruption when their kids get braces early. However, the truth is that wisdom teeth erupt most commonly between the ages of 17 and 25. And there are very few kids with bite problems or crooked teeth who wait until they start a wisdom tooth extraction.

To understand this issue better, let us take a look at the few possible problems that come with wisdom tooth eruption:

  1. Wisdom teeth that have emerged partially are covered with a flap of skin. This flap of skin is more likely to be a breeding ground for infections since food debris can easily be trapped.
  2. In some cases, wisdom teeth have insufficient space to erupt. The teeth are then forced to remain below the surface of the gums which leads to great discomfort.
  3. Wisdom teeth infections can often lead to bigger problems. Tooth decay and painful cysts being two major reasons for discomfort.
  4. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth rubs the inside of your mouth at an awkward angle. This makes it difficult to speak and chew with ease.
  5. Wisdom teeth that have erupted perfectly or partially also increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Do you have an infection?

In some cases of a wisdom tooth eruption, you might notice that your entire right or left upper jaw is swollen and irritated. The pain might intensify by the hour, your head might start hurting and the vision in either of your eyes may appear blurry. Swelling and worsening of pain is a concern for an infection. If you have fevers and your swelling worsens, you should consult your orthodontist immediately. Some patients might even experience difficulty in breathing and pain while swallowing. This could indicate that you may not have an infection, but local inflammation to the tooth protruding through the gums.

How to attend to the pain immediately?

Eating cold food like ice cream and ice water will help ease the discomfort, especially in a situation where you are unable to rush to the doctor immediately. However, if the pain does not subside, you should visit your orthodontist to determine if there indeed is an infection and how it can best be managed.

Should you wait for Wisdom Tooth Extraction before getting Braces?

Wisdom tooth extraction makes the most sense when you want your child to get braces. This is certain because wisdom teeth affect the alignment of your dental braces and what you want to make sure is that the orthodontic treatment is effective. An untreated wisdom tooth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. An appointment for a wisdom tooth extraction does not necessarily have to be scheduled just before you get dental braces. And a lot of parents encourage orthodontic treatments at a younger age, well before wisdom teeth erupt. Seeking the help of an orthodontist and getting an x-ray will help you determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is best suited to you since every person is unique and no two individuals will be recommended with the same treatment.

Book an appointment with an experienced orthodontist in Lawrenceville to help you treat yours or your kid’s wisdom tooth eruption with ease.

What should your child expect before and after braces

The exact experience of getting braces varies for every child depending on the type of braces that you’ve chosen. For instance, if you have chosen traditional braces, it will include metal brackets, wires, elastic rubber bands and bonding glue but if the braces are invisalign then your child will only be wearing customized aligners for roughly 20-22 hours every day. But regardless of what you choose, your child may be anxious and apprehensive initially. When you explain what they can expect before, during and after the braces, they will be at ease throughout the treatment.

To help parents prepare their children for this extended orthodontic procedure, here is a list of the most frequently asked questions along with comprehensive answers.

Before Getting Dental Braces

Will dental braces hurt?

This is the biggest concern that most children have even though the procedure is relatively painless. Parents can reassure their anxious children that getting braces will only take an hour or two. However, it is also important that parents tell their children that when the braces start aligning the teeth, it may cause some pain and discomfort but it can be easily alleviated by having your child:

  • Eat soft foods for the first few days after the braces are put on.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water containing salt.
  • Eat cold foods like ice cream and milkshake as they reduce swelling.
What foods can be eaten after getting braces?

Once your child gets used to the dental braces, they can consume soft fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy, and meats. However, to ensure oral hygiene hard, chewy and sticky foods should be avoided as they can get stuck in the metal wires and brackets.

What happens during appointments?

Your child would have to visit the orthodontist several times because the teeth straightening process takes time depending on the type of dental braces. While invisible braces show a visible difference in a month or two, traditional braces take longer to fix crooked teeth. After the braces are put on, most children need to go for follow-up appointments every four to six weeks. During these visits, the orthodontist will check the progress of your child’s teeth and if needed readjust the archwires to continue the realignment.

How long will the treatment last?

The length of treatment will depend on several factors, including the severity of the maladjustment, age, type of braces, and the oral health of your child. Nevertheless, dental braces usually take up to 2 years to show visible results.

What are the don’ts of living with braces?

To ensure that your braces work efficiently, your child needs to:

  • Be extra careful and gentle when brushing teeth.
  • Use a mouth rinse and fluoride toothpaste to remove the plaque left around the braces.
  • Avoid biting into hard and chewy foods like corn on the cob, ice cubes, sticky sweets, pizza crust, bagels and pork crackling.
  • Stay away from soda, juices and beverages that are very high in acid and sugar.

After Getting the Braces Off

What happens after the braces are removed?

Most children are excited to see the results after almost two years of wearing braces. While they will definitely see straighter teeth, they should also expect to see a few white spots on their teeth. This happens because certain parts of the teeth were covered by brackets and wires for two years. The enamel tends to undergo natural staining but these spots usually fade out after a short while.

Is it necessary to wear retainers after the braces come off?

After removing the braces, your child will have to wear custom retainers to keep the teeth straightening in place. It is very important that your child wears these retainers for at least 12 months after the removal of dental braces for sustainable results.

How to care for teeth after the braces are removed?

It is very important that parents have an oral hygiene routine in place to make sure their child’s teeth stay clean after every meal even after the braces have been removed. Apart from regular brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse once a day is also essential. The retainer should be disinfected using a retainer cleanser daily or as recommended by your orthodontist. Finally, as a parent you need to make sure that your child does not skip follow-up dental checkups. Dental checkups ensure that no oral hygiene issues have developed while the dental braces were on so your child’s new smile remains straight and strong!

If you don’t want to take any chances with your child’s orthodontic treatment, you can count on Koch Orthodontics. Instead of traditional dental braces, we use self-ligating braces that are convenient, comfortable and have no ties or bands. To know more about them, call us at (770) 962-9560.

Top 5 Benefits of Early Intervention of Braces in Kids

How many of you are contemplating getting braces for your child?

A few generations ago, family orthodontists believed in waiting for children to lose all their milk teeth and were in their early teens before putting on braces. Now, there has been a significant change in the orthodontic treatment. Children as young as 7 years are seen with braces in their mouths. Kids orthodontists today recommend early orthodontic evaluation for children in the age group of 6 to 8 years. An evaluation helps the orthodontist evaluate your child’s dental makeup and decide whether or not an early intervention of braces is necessary.

Early intervention of braces in kids helps correct the developmental problems associated with their teeth and jaws. Braces for kids may be necessary if your child has any of these 8 conditions:

  1. Crowded, crooked or misplaced teeth
  2. Spaces between teeth
  3. Extra teeth or missing teeth
  4. Breathes through the mouth more than the nose
  5. Difficulty in eating, chewing and biting
  6. Protruding teeth
  7. Jaws and teeth are out of proportion to the rest of the face
  8. Overbite, underbite, and crossbite

The sooner your child gets treatment the higher the chances of improving the growth of your child’s jaws and face, and avoiding any potential health problems in the future. Introduction of braces early helps move your child’s bones while they are still malleable and expands the jaw to make more room for his/her permanent teeth. Orthodontic treatment if done early may help your child avoid surgery or tooth extraction later on. Early orthodontic treatment for children also proves to be less expensive, less painful and less time-consuming in the long run. For many children, early treatment can prevent any emotional anxiety that a child may face about having distorted facial symmetry.

5 Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

  1. Creates More Space for Crowded Teeth to Erupt – Interceptive orthodontics at the age of 6 or 7 makes it easier to address problems like crowding. Before the permanent teeth grow the jaw is expanded to make room for the teeth to erupt through the gums.
  2. Improves Facial Symmetry – Braces correct the issues of crooked and misaligned teeth. The tooth movement brings changes to the overall appearance of the face and has a positive impact on the bite and alignment of the teeth and jaws.
  3. Reduces Risk of Chipping of Protruded Teeth – Children with protruding teeth do not have enough lip coverage to protect their teeth from a fall or a knock. This may result in the damage or loss of their front teeth. Protruding teeth problems can be taken care of with braces.
  4. Speech Obstruction Resolution – When upper teeth overlap a lot on the bottom teeth it leads to creating a whistling sound by allowing air to escape while talking, which obstructs the correct placement of the tongue. Braces can correct an overbite and fill the gaps between the teeth.
  5. Reduces Time for Phase II Treatment – Early orthodontic treatment reduces your phase II treatment time. Phase I decreases the trauma of protruding teeth, making way for perfectly aligned permanent teeth to erupt, thus reducing the need for tooth removal at a later stage.

Orthodontist in Lawrenceville for Children

Dr. Koch at Koch Orthodontist in Lawrenceville & Loganville, GA believes in treating your child as his own to ensure that the best treatment is offered to each child. He discusses the benefits of early intervention of braces in kids with you and your child and will monitor your child’s oral health for years to ensure that your child gets the best possible treatment. Call us today to make an appointment.