The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

As a mom, you most likely find yourself wearing multiple hats each day, from cook to chauffeur and everything in between. However, there’s one hat you shouldn’t have to wear just because you’re a mother – that of an orthodontist. You may be a pro at juggling work, school, extracurriculars, and the occasional special event, but your child’s oral health requires expert advice and guidance. That’s where Grubaugh Orthodontics comes in!

Experienced orthodontists go through years of additional training after dental school in order to become highly-trained specialists in tooth movement, facial growth, and dental development. This extra training and experience are what make orthodontists the best bet for giving your child a lasting smile that looks and feels great.

You may not be an expert on orthodontics like Dr. Grubaugh, but we still want you to feel confident in your choice to seek orthodontic care for your child. Treatment is a big investment in their oral health and their smile, so let’s look at some of the important things you should know about orthodontics before you get started!

(Is your child age 7 or above? Click here to schedule their FREE orthodontic evaluation!)

Orthodontics is about more than creating straight smiles

It’s a common misconception that orthodontics is focused exclusively on straightening smiles, but in reality, treatment addresses much more! Straight teeth aren’t the only indicator of a healthy smile, so orthodontics focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists like Dr. Grubaugh know how to go beyond the surface of a smile to examine a patient’s teeth, the movement and growth of their jaw, and the way the teeth are developing. This gives them the opportunity to catch any impacted, missing, or overcrowded teeth that may otherwise go unnoticed – at least until they begin causing problems!

Grubaugh assistant talking to a patient's mom

Children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7

Orthodontics tends to be associated with teens, so it often comes as a surprise to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic exam by about the age of 7. Yes, even though their mouths are still developing, and yes, even though they still have a mix of baby and permanent teeth. That’s actually the point! When we see children around this age, we can pick up on potential problems before they become a bigger deal. This can lessen or eliminate any negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth and bite.

Because we treat many young patients at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we’ve seen time and again the difference preventive care can make. Starting treatment at the right time can have a big impact on a child’s oral health! Even though most children won’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.

Pick an orthodontic office you and your child are comfortable with

Depending on the type of treatment, most orthodontic patients will need to be seen every 6-8 weeks or so throughout the process. Since you’ll be spending quite a bit of time there, it’s important to find an office you feel comfortable with. Our Lansing and DeWitt offices are state-of-the-art facilities, full of fun for kids and adults alike! With the latest technology and most innovative treatment options, you can be sure you’re getting the most efficient treatment and best results possible, all in a relaxing, friendly environment.

For your convenience, we offer late appointments on Monday and Tuesday evenings, as well as early appointments on Thursday mornings. We’re also conveniently located so you can get back to work, school, or home as soon as possible after your child’s appointment. Our team is committed to creating a positive, stress-free experience from your first appointment with us to your last – and beyond!

There are multiple treatment options available

At Grubaugh Orthodontics, we combine innovative technology with cutting-edge techniques to help patients of all ages achieve a straighter, healthier smile. We offer the following treatments in our Lansing and DeWitt offices.

Traditional metal braces

Metal braces are composed of high-quality stainless steel brackets, wires, and bands. These work together to gently guide the teeth into the desired positions over time. Today’s braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than ever before, and can even be personalized by choosing elastics from wide variety of fun colors!

Traditional metal braces still tend to be the most widely used orthodontic treatment, and for good reason.They’re a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective option for straightening smiles and improving oral health. Metal braces can be especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces, sometimes referred to as clear braces, utilize the same components as traditional braces, but the brackets are made of a translucent ceramic material. This blends in with the natural color of your teeth, and when paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics and ties, offers patients a discrete treatment option. Current ceramic braces are often a little less durable than their metal counterparts, and are sometimes prone to breakage, so we generally only recommend them for older teens and adults.

Damon system braces

Unlike traditional braces that use elastic ties, Damon System uses self-ligating brackets.  Each one has a built-in door that holds the wire passively to the bracket. Additional attachments like ligature ties and elastic rubber o-ties aren’t needed to hold the wire, which decreases friction so less force is required to move teeth. This allows us to use lighter and more biologically compatible forces, minimizing the need for extractions of permanent teeth, headgear, and high force palatal expanders (RPE).

Damon braces are precise and effective, and can reduce the need for some of the more time-consuming procedures that can come with traditional braces. Due to the unique design of the Damon system, teeth can be moved into their correct positions with less discomfort and faster results. Because the braces are small, comfortable, and easy to keep clean, they can be an excellent option for patients of all ages!

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Instead of relying on metal or ceramic brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear, customized aligners to move the teeth over time. These aligners are nearly invisible and completely removable, giving patients extra freedom and flexibility. Because they’re composed of a soft but strong thermoplastic resin, patients avoid some of the friction and abrasions that braces can cause. As the teeth begin to shift, the aligners are changed out every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movements.

Unlike braces, Invisalign relies almost entirely on patient compliance to work properly. The aligners must be worn a minimum of 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment. The Invisalign system tends to work best for mild to moderate orthodontic issues, so it may not always be a suitable choice for patients with more severe or complicated cases.

Dr. Grubaugh talking to a patient and her mom

Treatment times vary

When it comes to how long a patient will be in braces or aligners, there is no “one size fits all” answer. That’s because every patient has their own unique smile, and responds to treatment in their own way. The length of time your child will require treatment will vary based on their own specific case. Other factors will include 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 24 months, while Invisalign treatment averages about 12 to 18 months.

Give your child the gift of a lifelong smile with Grubaugh Orthodontics

We know that you want nothing but the best for your child, including a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime. If you’re in Lansing, DeWitt, or any of the surrounding communities and want to explore more about orthodontics for your child, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation! We’d love to meet you both, and get your child on the road to a smile they’ll want to share with the world!