What causes the problem in the first place?
No one knows the exact cause of every orthodontic problem. Some causes are very evident, such as thumb sucking. Most are much more complex. However, the old cliche’ that the patient inherited daddy’s teeth and mother’s jaw is simply not correct.
Why do my child’s teeth look so large?
The teeth do not change in size once they are formed. In a normal relationship the face and jaws grow fast enough to accommodate the erupting permanent teeth. It is when this balance becomes disrupted that orthodontic problems start to occur.
Are teeth ever actually too large for the patient’s mouth?
Yes. However, this is not a common occurrence. Incidentally the teeth can also be too small for the patient’s face and jaws as well.
Is early treatment always best?
Not necessarily. If the patient’s problem is growth related then it certainly is wise to begin therapy early. The majority of problems fall into this category. However, if the problem is simply “crooked teeth”, the dentist may advise you to delay treatment until all of the permanent teeth have developed into the mouth.
Can my child be treated with only removable appliances?
Not usually. Sometimes all of the permanent teeth will correctly align themselves following orthopedic therapy. Everyone should be prepared to complete the second phase of treatment which is orthodontic therapy with fixed braces.
What will the treatment cost?
In most situations the doctor can provide you with a reasonable estimate of the expenses involved. If you have any questions regarding the fee by all means ask the doctor.
Do children “talk funny” with appliances in their mouth?
Only for a short period of time. The speech pattern will quickly adapt to the appliance when they are worn full time.
When can my child take the appliances out?
Only when eating and brushing. There are certain exceptions such as singing in a choir, but these should be discussed with the dentist. There are also certain malocclusions that it’s best to eat in the appliances.