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What Is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Pediatric Orthodontist?
Any parent or guardian looking for a pediatric orthodontist will need to do a bit of legwork. You have to find an orthodontist that both you and your child can stick with for the long term. The good news is that your child will benefit from timely and effective treatment.
To help with your search, here is information that points to the type of orthodontist that your child needs. It goes over the differences between a regular orthodontist and a pediatric orthodontist.
The role of the pediatric orthodontist in oral healthcare
Pediatric orthodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on early intervention and treatment. The aim is to get a head start in correcting oral health issues like:
- Crowding or gaps between the teeth
- Jaw malformation
- A blockage that prevents the proper eruption of teeth
These kinds of oral health issues may be genetic. Some of them may be present at birth. Others may develop as a result of poor oral habits in a child’s earliest years.
A pediatric dentist will create a custom treatment plan that caters to their patient’s specific set of circumstances. They will use their knowledge to monitor, anticipate, and modify the growth trajectory of their patient’s mouth. Specifically, they will oversee the proper growth of teeth, the jaws, and the structures that support both.
Reasons that a young patient would need a pediatric orthodontist
Children with few or no oral health issues can get away with having their first orthodontic screening at age 7. However, the child will need to see one earlier in case of:
- Difficulty in breathing, eating, or speech
- A visible misalignment of the jaw
- Visible malformation of the jaw
- Baby teeth that fall off too early or too late
- Poor habits like thumb sucking, which affect the alignment of the teeth
Finding a pediatric dentist in any of the situations above will result in lifelong benefits. In contrast, delaying treatment can make future treatment more difficult and time-consuming.
When to choose a regular orthodontist instead
Pediatric orthodontists usually treat very young children. Such patients often need treatments for severe oral health issues. As an example, a toddler who needs a pediatric orthodontist will likely have an issue that impacts their quality of life. The child would be unable to wait until age 7 for intervention.
A regular orthodontist can see children aged 7or older. However, they tend to treat pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults. Thanks to discreet orthodontic appliances, an orthodontist can also treat older adults who choose to straighten their teeth.
We love to invest in the future smiles of our patients
Our practice boasts a team with the skill and experience to improve your child’s oral health. This is a great reason to get in touch with us and make an appointment with our pediatric orthodontist. They will work with you and your child to chart a path to a healthy set of teeth.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Orthodontics for Children in Chatsworth, CA.
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