Dr. J. Richard Morris, Jr. understands that many people have questions about their child’s oral health and orthodontic treatment in Hendersonville, Tennessee. As such, he has provided answers to some common questions here on this page. If you have further questions, please call Morris Orthodontics at 615-431-2787. Our orthodontist and team will be happy to answer your questions and help you make an appointment at our office. We are dedicated to making sure that you understand all aspects of your or your child’s treatment and can make fully informed decisions. Our top priority is providing you or your child with exceptional care that will lead to a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles.
When should my child be seen by an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists® (AAO) recommends that all children have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. While research has shown that only 10% to 20% of children will need treatment at this age, an early evaluation can detect problems before they become serious and help our orthodontist to prevent more serious skeletal and dental problems from developing.
Why is orthodontic care important?
Orthodontics is important for a number of reasons. For one, it enhances your child’s smile. The most important benefits, however, are to your child’s oral health and function. Orthodontics straightens crooked teeth, corrects misguided growth, directs erupting teeth, alleviates bite problems and prevents the need for tooth extraction. All of this leads to teeth which are easier to keep clean and healthy with normal brushing and flossing, and which are less likely to develop cavities or gum disease or sustain damage from trauma.
Why do so many second and third graders have braces nowadays?
Some children may require early orthodontic treatment to prevent orthodontic problems from becoming complex when they are older. Early orthodontic treatment can often help children avoid extended treatment time or the need for surgical treatment in the future. The AAO recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist by age 7 to determine whether or not they will need early orthodontic treatment. Your child will most likely not need early treatment, but an evaluation at this age will let you know when is the best time for your child to begin treatment.
Do braces hurt?
No. Braces do not hurt at all when they are placed on the teeth. There may be some mild soreness after the orthodontic wire is initially placed or after it is adjusted, but this soreness will dissipate after a few days.
Will I get to pick my colors when I get my braces?
Yes! There is a wide variety of colors for you to choose from, and you can pick out the colors that you want on your braces when they are placed. You can even change the colors during your regular appointments!
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. These teeth help children speak clearly and chew naturally and also ensure that your child’s permanent teeth erupt properly by forming a path that those permanent teeth can follow. Baby teeth also assist in the development of the bone around the teeth to promote proper growth and development.
When should my child start flossing?
Flossing is incredibly important, and we recommend that you help your child learn how to floss as soon as they have two teeth that touch — this may be as early as age 2 ½. Flossing helps remove plaque and food from between the teeth and along the gumline to prevent cavities and other problems from developing. As young children have limited coordination, parents should help them with flossing.
What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
Stay calm! Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown (not the root), make sure it is clean and try to gently reinsert it into the socket. If this is not possible, put the tooth into a glass of milk or saliva and take your child and the tooth to a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. If the tooth lost is a baby tooth, do not reinsert it into the socket. The permanent tooth will erupt on its own in time. We do, however, recommend a visit to the pediatric dentist even if the tooth is a baby tooth.
How do I make my child’s diet safe for his or her teeth?
Provide your child with a balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables; breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; and meat, fish and eggs. Limit their intake of sugars and starches. You may want to ask your pediatric dentist for tips on selecting foods that will protect your child’s teeth and help them enjoy better oral and overall health.