October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and one local orthodontist is taking the opportunity to tell the community about ways to take care of their children’s teeth.
Dr. Maxwell Abraham and the team at Abraham Orthodontics in Leamington and Chatham offers free orthodontic exams for all families, with no referral required.
The first screening exam is recommended by age seven from the Canadian Association of Orthodontists to prevent complex and surgical treatments.
If your child is approaching the age of seven, experts recommend it’s time to make an appointment for an initial exam with an orthodontist.
Dr. Abraham says most often, an orthodontist will identify a potential problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, which is why it’s important to get screened early.
“The important part is there’s some skeletal issues, you know, the big ones for us are an under bite where the lower teeth sit in front of the top teeth or a cross bite where the lower jaw or the chin looks like it’s off to the side. Those are major issues that are easily fixed between seven, eight or nine years old without having any permanent defects later on,” he said.
Children that are not ready for treatment, enter the Growing Smiles Programs where the children are seen yearly, at no cost to monitor growth and dental development.
Dr. Abraham says the screenings catch about two to three per cent of their patients who may require some intervention early.
“Whether that’s with some orthodontic appliances to wear at night, or during the day,” he continued. “Or some early removal of baby teeth to help guide new ones coming in, the majority aren’t quite ready yet for anything but really at seven or eight years old we have a decent idea of what we want to do later on.”
While most of the focus is on children, Dr. Abraham says over time more adults have looked into adjustments to their teeth because of so many options that make it not only affordable with payment plans, but the actual treatment options themselves.
“So it’s not metal braces, we’re looking at Invisalign which are clear removable aligners that are worn and changed weekly to move the teeth. A newer option is a 3D custom printed clear bracket, which has some treatments efficiencies. It’s a traditional brace, but it’s actually clear and it’s customized for that patient,” he said.
Dr. Abraham says every patient presents unique orthodontic problems and growth considerations, so the “best age” to start treatment is different for every patient.
He adds the best time for a consultation with an orthodontist is as soon as a possible problem is noticed.
Families can schedule their free orthodontic exam online.
Source: iHeartRADIO AM800