A lot of parents have been asking (me included) “Is there anything I can do to prevent my child from getting braces?”
With the tightening of household budgets, the idea of paying for braces can be overwhelming. Recently, I had the chance to discuss what’s on every mother’s mind with one of Australia’s highest regarded dentists Dr. Fadi Yassmin (you may recognise the name from Channel 7’s “10 Years Younger in 10 Days”) of Broadway Dental in Sydney. I caught up with Dr. Yassmin to discuss ways in which we may help prevent our child from needing braces.
Q. Are there any early signs that my child may need braces?
The most obvious signs are splayed or overlapped teeth ie teeth that stick out or teeth that are crowded. Another facial sign is where the lips are positioned. If these are naturally apart and it takes effort to close them over the front teeth.
The position of the jaws in relation to each other; whether the top jaw is way ahead of the lower or vice versa.
Certain habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrust can also facilitate the need for braces and need to be addressed.
Q. What can be done to prevent my child needing braces?
There are a lot of early interception techniques that can minimise the need for braces or completely avoid it.
Active plates that can widen the jaws and help position them in the correct relationship.
Q. Are braces the only way to ensure straight teeth for my child?
No, systems like Invisalign that use sequential aligners work well.
Also plates can sometimes be used to straighten teeth.
Q. What can you recommend as an alternative to braces?
As an alternative to braces, I would recommend INVISALIGN (invisible braces) teen. In some (less complicated) cases a carefully designed and constructed plate can achieve the same result.