Smile David Ross Orthodontics in Hanover, PA and Lutherville-Timonium, MD

The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

These days, families are busier than ever before, and being a mom often means wearing about a hundred different hats, from cook to chauffeur and everything in between! If you’re a mother, one hat you shouldn’t have to wear is that of an orthodontist.

When it comes to your child’s oral health, expert advice and guidance is essential. That’s why an experienced orthodontist like Dr. David Ross is your best bet at giving your child a smile that looks and feels great! After dental school, orthodontists like Dr. Ross undertake years of additional training in order to become highly-trained specialists in tooth movement, facial growth, and dental development.

While you may not be an expert, we still want you to feel confident in choosing orthodontic treatment for your child. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things moms should know about orthodontics!

(Is your child ready for their first orthodontic appointment? Click here to schedule a free exam!)

Orthodontics deals with more than just teeth

There’s a common misconception that orthodontics is used solely for straightening smiles, when in reality, it deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Straight teeth are not the only indicator of a healthy smile, and plenty of dental issues can lurk just below the surface. Orthodontists like Dr. Ross are trained to look at more than just the smile for exactly this reason. He examines not only a patient’s teeth, but the movement and growth of their jaw as well, as this is how underbites and overbites are created. Orthodontists also observe the teeth as they develop, checking for any impacted, missing, or overcrowded teeth that may otherwise go unnoticed until they are already causing problems for the patient.

Your child should have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7

Orthodontics is often associated with teens and sometimes adults, so it can be surprising to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids this young have an orthodontic exam. However, seeing children around this age means we’re able to pick up on potential issues before they become bigger problems. This can lessen or eliminate any negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth and bite.

Here at David Ross Orthodontics, we’re big believers in preventive care! We treat a number of young patients, and we’ve seen how starting treatment at the right time can really make a positive difference to their oral health. Although most of these younger patients don’t require any active treatment, an early exam lets us check for a number of issues to determine if and when orthodontic treatment is indicated.

David Ross giving a high five to a patient

Choose an orthodontic office you’re comfortable with

Depending on the type of treatment, patients will need to be seen every 6-8 weeks on average throughout the orthodontic process. Since you’ll be spending quite a bit of time there, it’s important to find an office you feel comfortable with! We put a lot of heart, soul, thought, and effort into our Hanover office, and we think it shows. It has a bright, playful vibe but still manages to be relaxing, plus it’s conveniently located so you can get back to work, school, or home as soon as possible after your child’s appointment. Our talented team has worked with patients of all ages for many years, and will do all we can to provide you and your child with a positive and rewarding orthodontic experience.  

Multiple treatment options are now available

Modern orthodontics has come a long way in recent years, and achieving a straighter, healthier smile is easier than ever before! At David Ross Orthodontics, we offer the following treatment options.

Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are the most widely used type of orthodontic treatment, and the most recognizable, too. Braces are typically made up of a mix of high-grade stainless steel, nickel, and other metals, and consist of bands that wrap around the back molars and smaller metal brackets that are attached to the front of the other teeth. Thin, springy metal pieces called archwires run through the brackets. These may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or another type of clasp. These mechanisms all work together to gently guide a child’s teeth into the desired positions over time.

Metal braces have been around longer than any other kind of orthodontic treatment, and are a reliable, effective, and economical option for straightening smiles. Today’s version is smaller, lighter, and comfortable, especially when compared to the clunky incarnations of the past. They can also be personalized them by choosing elastics in fun and funky color combinations!

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, are a new variation on conventional braces. Although they utilize the same components as traditional braces, the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of your teeth. This offers patients an incredibly discrete treatment  option.

That said, current ceramic braces do tend to be a little less durable than their metal counterparts and can sometimes be prone to breakage. They are also slightly more costly than traditional braces. For this reason, we tend to only recommend them for older teens or adults looking for an inconspicuous source of orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Invisalign treatment doesn’t rely on a system of metal or ceramic brackets and wires. Instead, the system uses a series of clear, customized aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. The aligners are composed of a soft but strong plastic, so patients avoid the friction and abrasions that braces can cause, providing a more comfortable experience. As the teeth begin to shift, the aligners will be changed out every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movements.

Invisalign relies on patient compliance to work properly. The aligners must be worn 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment. The Invisalign system works best with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, so it isn’t always a suitable choice for patients with more severe or complicated cases.

David Ross discussing a plan with patients

Treatment times will vary from case to case

When it comes to treatment times, there’s no “one size fits all” answer. This is because each patient has their own unique smile and will respond to treatment in their own way. The length of time your child will need to be in braces or aligners will vary based on their specific circumstances, and will depend on multiple factors like the severity of the problem, the health of their teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and how compliant they are. On average, however, braces tend to be worn for about 12 to 36 months, while Invisalign treatment averages about 12-18 months.

Give your child a smile that stands out with David Ross Orthodontics

If you’re in Hanover or the surrounding communities and want to explore more about orthodontics for your child, why not get in touch and schedule a free exam with our office? We’d love to meet you both and get your child started on the road to a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime!