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What You Should Know About Your Child Or Teen’s Orthodontic Care

13 Common Questions Parents Tend To Ask About Braces, Invisalign Teen & Orthodontic Care

1. At what age should I schedule my child for an appointment to get an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

2. During my child’s orthodontic care, should they still go to dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic care visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that a toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your child’s dentist will work closely with their orthodontist to make sure that their teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces. Invisalign Teen allows the patient to remove their aligners when they eat, but it is just as important to keep those dental checkups so their teeth remain healthy and treatment can be most effective!

3. Can my child/teen still play sports? What about instruments?

With braces, playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment at first, but wearing braces will not stop them from participating in any of their school activities. Whether they have braces or Invisalign Teen, if they play a contact sport, it is recommended they wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth – and braces if applicable. If you need help finding a mouth guard that works with braces, ask one of our Stryker team members for a good place to buy one.

4. Are there foods they cannot eat while in braces?

Yes. Once orthodontic care begins, we will explain the complete instructions and talk about the list of foods to avoid with braces. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by making sure they carefully following this list.

5. Can orthodontic corrections be made while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for orthodontic care, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

6. Will my child/teen’s teeth straighten out naturally as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

7. How long will it take to complete my orthodontic care?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

8. How often will there be appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

9. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all!

10. Does my child need to brush their teeth more often with braces?

With braces, patients should brush their teeth at least three times a day to keep their teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. They should also floss daily to get in between their braces where a toothbrush cannot reach. We can show patients how to properly brush and floss once their braces are placed.

11. Is it required that a dentist schedules an appointment for my child or refers them to an orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many others schedule examinations with us directly.

12. What will we learn from my child’s initial exam?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

13. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for braces and orthodontic care until we have examined your child’s smile. The last thing you should have to do is spend time worrying about how to pay for braces or Invisalign Teen treatment. We are happy to provide you with several flexible payment-plan options, including zero interest, that will help you get your child the treatment that’s needed, without busting your budget.

Still have questions?

To read more general orthodontic care questions, click here.
To read orthodontic treatment questions typically asked by adults, click here.



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Come Visit One Of Our 3 Convenient
Orthodontic Offices In Missouri!
Lebanon Orthodontic Office
590 Lynn St. (North Highway 5)
Lebanon, MO 65536
Monday through Friday, 8:00a - 5:00p

417.532.9532


Waynesville Orthodontic Office
100 Lafayette Cir.
Waynesville, MO 65583
Monday through Friday, 8:00a - 5:00p

573.774.5187


Camdenton Orthodontic Office
293 E. Hwy. 54, Suite 102
Camdenton, MO 65020
Monday through Friday, 8:00a - 5:00p

573.525.5141


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