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How Often Should Children Visit The Orthodontist?

8th Nov, 2023

Parents often wonder when the ideal time is to take their child to the orthodontist, and how long to wait between visits. Maybe it’s because their little one’s first tooth came out, or maybe they want to be ready for the cost of braces for their child down the road.

Every parent wants their child to have a beautiful smile and the confidence that comes with it as soon as possible. Here at Orthoclinic, we’re ready to help! Read on to learn everything you need to know about orthodontic visits for your child.

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What Age Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

We recommend your child visit an orthodontist by the age of 7.

This recommendation is supported by both the American Association of Orthodontists – who recommend all children be screen by an orthodontist at age 7.
It’s also supported by Orthodontics Australia, who recommend your child has their first orthodontic evaluation between 7-10 years.

We’ve put together a some information for parents around why this is the right age.

Whilst some believe it’s necessary to wait until their child reaches their teenage years or until they develop a problem, that’s not necessarily true. In fact, there are significant benefits to going earlier than that – and you don’t need a dentist’s recommendation to book an appointment.

By this age, most kids have lost a few baby teeth, but haven’t grown many adult teeth yet. Having a mix of adult and baby teeth allows the orthodontist to identify emerging issues with your child’s teeth and jaw alignment. Even if your child doesn’t need immediate treatment, regular check-ups with an orthodontist can monitor their development.

The great thing about early intervention is that it can minimise or even eliminate the need for extensive orthodontic treatment down the road. It’s an opportunity to ensure your child’s dental health and help them achieve a healthy (and beautiful) smile.

Signs your child should see an orthodontist

While all children can benefit from an early orthodontic evaluation, there are specific signs that indicate your child may be a candidate for orthodontic care:

  • Losing baby teeth prematurely: This may be a sign of cavities or trauma which can affect the eruption pattern of permanent teeth.
  • Protruding and overcrowded teeth: Teeth that stick out or appear crowded can impact your child’s oral health, aesthetics, and overall bite function.
  • Misalignment when biting: Your child’s teeth don’t meet when they bite together, such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
  • Difficulty chewing or biting: This may indicate a bite problem or misalignment.
  • Snoring or breathing through the mouth: This could be a sign of potential breath or airway issues that an orthodontist can assess and address.
  • Thumb sucking: Prolonged thumb sucking can lead to dental issues, such as misalignment or protruding front teeth.
  • Family history of impacted or missing teeth: Early orthodontic evaluation is important if your family has a history of dental issues.


Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment is not just about a pretty smile – it helps prevent problems like crowded teeth, cavities, and corrects harmful oral habits.

By taking proactive steps towards your kid’s oral health at an early age, you can set them up for a lifetime of benefits.

Catches dental problems early

It’s easier to identify and fix dental problems before they become worse. With early treatment, orthodontists can address potential issues before they become major concerns. It helps to determine the alignment of your child’s permanent teeth and whether intervention is needed.

Corrects bite or misalignment issues

Oral problems can often cause a chain reaction, leading to more complications. For example, crooked teeth can cause issues like overbites, underbites, and crossbites, which can lead to jaw problems and discomfort for your child.

Thankfully, early orthodontic treatment can identify and correct teeth and jaw issues. These adjustments are much easier when a child’s jaw is still developing.

Promotes proper growth

Early orthodontic treatment can not only identify developing problems but also creates a healthy space for new teeth to come in. Any obstacles blocking emerging teeth could damage their primary teeth or cause crowding.

Remember: your child’s adult teeth are meant to last a lifetime.

Improved oral health

Early treatment and regular visits to your orthodontist help your child establish good oral health habits. Tooth decay and gum disease can become chronic problems if they’re not nipped in the bud.

Did you know that tooth decay is the most common dental issue in childhood? This highlights the importance of early treatment and promoting good oral hygiene habits from a young age.

Boosted self-confidence

When orthodontic treatments begin at a young age, children can enjoy the benefits of a confident smile and healthy teeth throughout their schooling.

Self-consciousness is common in teenagers. By providing kids with healthy, straight teeth, you lay the foundation for self-confidence in adolescence and adulthood.


How Often Should Your Child Visit the Orthodontist?

So; you’ve taken the first step and your child has had their first orthodontic evaluation. Now, you might be wondering when you should schedule your next appointment.

How often your child should visit the orthodontist depends on their specific needs and treatment plan. Generally, most children undergoing tratment need to visit the orthodontist every four to eight weeks.

If they have braces, for example, they may need to see the orthodontist every four to ten weeks. If your child is undergoing other orthodontic treatments like headgear or expanders, they might need to see the orthodontist every four to eight weeks. During these visits, the orthodontist will check their progress and make any necessary adjustments.
Each patient’s treatment plan is unique. The orthodontist will provide guidance on how often you should schedule appointments. This will also depend on factors such as the complexity of the case, desired outcomes, and any challenges that might arise.

After completing active treatment – or if your child does not require treatment – the orthodontist will recommend periodic follow-up visits to every 6-12 months.


The Importance of Regular Dental and Orthodontic Visits

Regular dental check-ups and orthodontic visits are incredibly important for keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. Just like you go for a check-up with your doctor, it’s essential to take care of your teeth too.

This becomes even more important at a young age. These visits can help catch any dental issues early on, meaning they can fix them before they become more serious. It saves you time and money and helps your child avoid unnecessary discomfort in the long run.

When you visit the dentist and orthodontist regularly, you can check that your child’s teeth are growing the right way. Orthodontists will keep an eye on the alignment of the teeth and be able to spot issues that require early intervention.

Regular dental checkups are also great for teaching children about proper oral hygiene practices. The dentist can show them the right way to brush and floss to ensure the best overall oral health.

By making regular dental and orthodontic visits a priority, you’re investing in your child’s oral health for the long run. It’s all about keeping their smile bright and healthy!


Ensuring Positive Dental Visits for Children

Taking your child to the dental clinic or orthodontist can be a daunting task for parents, especially if your young one is already scared or nervous. If you’re unsure how to help your child feel more comfortable about dental visits, you’re not alone.

Here are a few tips to help ensure your child has a positive experience at the dentist:

  1. Choose the right professional. Choose an orthodontist experienced in treating children. They have specialised knowledge and a child-friendly approach that can create a positive atmosphere for your child.
  2. Prepare your child. Before the visit, talk to your child about what they can expect during the appointment. Address their concerns and avoid words like “pain” to ensure a positive experience.
  3. Encourage good oral hygiene habits. Help your child maintain good oral hygiene habits at home between visits. You can even make it a fun activity that you do together.
  4. Reward your child for their bravery. Praising your child for their cooperation and bravery during dental appointments can boost their confidence and make future visits more enjoyable.



Should my child see an orthodontist if they don’t have braces?

Yes. While many people associate orthodontists with braces, their services go beyond that. Even if your child’s teeth appear healthy or they don’t currently require braces, it’s still wise to take them for orthodontic evaluations to monitor and prevent future issues.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

Both orthodontists and dentists play important roles in improving your overall oral health, but they approach this in different ways. Dentists have a wide scope of practice, addressing various oral health issues. Orthodontists are specialists in identifying, preventing, and correcting misaligned or crooked teeth and related jaw issues.

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Children’s Braces: What Are Your Alternatives & Options

27th Sep, 2023

When your child or teen is told they need orthodontic treatment, it’s natural for them to feel a mix of emotions, including some worry about getting braces. While it might be surprising to learn that the majority of kids feel excited about getting braces, not everyone feels the same.

Fortunately, there are a range of treatment options available. Thanks to significant advancements in the field of orthodontics, there is a wide range of brace alternatives that can help your child achieve a beautiful smile.

As Canberra’s leading childrens orthodontist practice, we’re here to help you explore the different children’s braces alternatives and address any concerns young people may have about braces.

When Are Traditional Or Clear Braces The Right Option

We find that for the majority of our patients, traditional children’s braces or clear braces are the most efficient and suitable treatment option. They’re the most suited to complex corrections, and give the largest amount of control and change to the patients smile.

Clear Braces – A More Subtle Choice

Clear braces are an excellent solution for many children. They offer similar treatment benefits to traditional braces, however they’re built with clear brackets to be a far more discreet option. We find that after talking through the range of treatment solutions available, children often feel comfortable with the idea of clear or coloured braces as they’re discreet and provide the best results.

Damon Clear Braces

When To Consider Alternatives To Braces

Children may need orthodontics for various reasons, whether it’s crooked or overcrowded teeth, or an over- or underbite. The orthodontic treatment chosen often depends on how severe the child’s teeth are, the desired comfort levels, and the finances of the family.

While conventional metal braces have long been the most effective treatment option for young people, every child is unique with their own preferences and concerns. Exploring alternative options allows us to cater to their individual needs and create a tailored orthodontic experience.

Whether it’s addressing aesthetics, comfort, or lifestyle concerns, seeking alternatives opens up new approaches to your child’s specific needs.

Several exciting alternatives to traditional metal braces have gained popularity. Plus, they come with great benefits. Some options can provide a more discreet treatment, boosting your child’s confidence throughout their orthodontic journey. Certain alternatives also provide the convenience to adapt to your child’s lifestyle.


Exploring Different Alternatives to Traditional Braces for Kids

Many young people struggle with wanting to fit in and, for them, braces are often the thing that makes them stand out. This makes the idea of regular braces less appealing.

The good news is that orthodontic braces have come a long way! At Orthoclinic, we offer a range of discreet braces options that children can embrace and feel comfortable with while giving them a straight smile.

Clear aligners

Clear aligner treatments are the most discreet orthodontic treatment. One popular brand is Invisalign, which uses clear trays custom-made to fit and gently shift your teeth.

The treatment involves multiple sets of clear trays, each gradually shifting the teeth until the desired results are achieved. Unlike regular braces, these aligners can be easily removed for brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking.

Aligners are a discrete alternative to braces, however, they don’t correct teeth as effectively as braces and hence might not be suitable for all cases.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are another great alternative if your child is concerned about the visibility of metal brackets.

As the name suggests, these are made of ceramic material that closely matches the teeth’s colour. They are equally effective in straightening teeth, but the key difference is that they’re less noticeable.

It’s important to note that ceramic braces may be slightly more expensive than traditional fixed braces. Your child will also need to be more careful when consuming colourful foods or drinks that can potentially cause staining.


Addressing Concerns and Preferences of Teenagers

Many teenagers have concerns about wearing traditional metal braces, and it’s completely understandable. It’s a time in their livers when they’re hyper-aware of how others perceive them, and the thought of braces can be a real confidence challenge.

One of the biggest worries for teens is how they’ll look with braces. They fear their friends might poke fun at them or that it could impact their dating life.

Another concern is the discomfort associated with braces. They may have heard “horror” stories from their friends or even family about the achiness and soreness. It’s enough to make anyone a bit anxious!

Then there’s also the long-term commitment. The idea of having something attached to their teeth for an extended period may not sit well with some teens.

But with all that said, braces are a common part of the teen experience. A lot of teenagers will have braces at some point. Chances are your child has friends who either already have braces or will be getting them soon.

Remind your teen that wearing braces for a few years is a small sacrifice for a lifetime of a perfectly straight smile. The end result is worth it! And if they’re concerned about the appearance of braces, there are some effective ways to address that.

Alternatives to braces like clear aligners, ceramic braces, or lingual braces can ease some of the aesthetic concerns.


Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces for Kids and Teens

While there are several alternatives to braces, invisible braces like Invisalign have become the most popular for kids and teens.

Advantages of Invisalign

  • They’re invisible: The aesthetic appeal of clear aligners is the main reason why they’re so popular. Made from a transparent plastic material, they are virtually invisible when worn. This makes them a great choice for those concerned with the look of metal braces.
  • Generally faster: While the average treatment time for braces varies depending on the orthodontic problems, Invisalign braces have been shown to work slightly faster.
  • They’re practical: Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners are removable, making it much easier to enjoy your favourite foods, sports, and activities without restrictions.
  • More hygienic: Given that clear aligners are removable, it is much easier to maintain healthy oral hygiene. Metal braces often make this harder and require more extensive cleaning.
  • They’re comfortable: Unlike metal braces, Invisalign is less likely to cause irritation to the inside of the mouth due to its smooth plastic construction. They fit snugly over the teeth without causing abrasions.

What to consider when deciding between Invisalign and traditional braces

It all comes down to personal preferences and priorities. Let’s look at some of the key points to consider:

  1. Effectiveness: This is the most important factor. Traditional braces have long been the go-to solution for a variety of misalignments, from minor to severe. Invisalign, however, is more effective for less severe orthodontic problems.
  2. Comfort: Invisalign tends to be more comfortable than braces as the pressure applied by clear aligners is gentler, and they lack the brackets and wires that can cause irritation to the gums and cheeks.
  3. Appearance: If your teen is concerned about the look of traditional metal braces, Invisalign is the clear option to go with.
  4. Cost: In general, the cost of Invisalign aligners is comparable to that of traditional braces. They can be slightly more expensive due to the lab fees and technology used in creating them.
  5. Maintenance: Oral hygiene is made much easier with clear aligners as they can be removed. Traditional braces require special attention to ensure a deep clean around the brackets.


Comparing the Differences Between Invisalign and Braces

While both Invisalign and braces are popular options for straightening teeth, there are important differences between these two orthodontic treatments.

Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners that are practically invisible with no brackets or wires. The aligners are custom-made for your teeth and are replaced approximately every two weeks as your teeth gradually shift into the desired position. Clear aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours a day to ensure a successful treatment.

Traditional braces use metal brackets that are attached to each tooth and connected with wires. The wires are periodically tightened by your orthodontists to gradually move your teeth. While braces are more noticeable, they are the best option for complex cases.

Looking at the pros and cons of each, it really comes down to individual needs and preferences.

In some cases, Invisalign aligners can be a suitable option for teenagers who have mild to moderate teeth misalignment. These aligners are nearly invisible and can be removed for eating and cleaning, which can be appealing to teens. However, patients must practice discipline, as consistent wear is essential for success.

Alternatively, if your child has severe teeth misalignment or issues with their bite, traditional braces may be the more suitable choice. They’re ideal for correcting complex cases and there are multiple types to choose from (eg. metal, lingual, and ceramic).

The downside of traditional braces is the aesthetics, but ceramic and lingual braces can help with that. Brushing your teeth effectively can be difficult and there are certain food limitations so as not to cause damage to the brackets or wires.


Choosing the Right Brace Alternative for Children

Choosing the right brace alternative for your child can be a tough decision. With so many options available, it’s important to consider various factors to ensure the best fit.

Assessing their needs

Younger children may have different orthodontic needs compared to teenagers. Their teeth and jaws are still developing, which means certain treatment options may be different. What’s more, children can only start clear aligner treatment when their adult teeth have come in.

The severity of your child’s orthodontic issues is another factor. Are they dealing with just a few crooked teeth or is there a more complex situation? Traditional braces are often the go-to for straightening teeth and fixing bite alignment. But for mild to moderate cases, clear aligners like Invisalign could work wonders.

Considering their lifestyle

Beyond the orthodontic factors, your child’s lifestyle may also influence the choice between different brace alternatives. Do they play a sport or an instrument where braces might be a problem?

In these cases, lingual braces (placed on the back of teeth) can be a great choice to minimise injuries or interference. If your child needs the freedom to remove braces occasionally, clear aligner treatment might be the way to go.

Consulting with an orthodontist

Ultimately it’s important to consult with an experienced orthodontist who can evaluate your child’s specific needs. They can also help guide you through the decision-making process to find the best alternatives to braces.

At Orthoclinic, our orthodontists specialise in a range of brace alternatives, including traditional metal braces. With an understanding of the unique challenges they face, our specialist orthodontists can help your child achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.


Frequently Asked Questions about Children’s Braces Alternatives

How do I prepare my child for braces?

Transitioning to braces can be a new experience for kids, but with a little preparation, they can navigate it smoothly. It’s important for kids and teens with braces to be mindful of what they eat and to establish good oral hygiene habits.

When should my child get braces?

The right time for a child to start orthodontic treatment varies, but most children get braces when they’re between 9 and 14 years old. Some children may even start their orthodontic treatment as young as 6 or 7. This all depends on the unique need of your child as some require earlier intervention than others.

What is the most cost-effective alternative to braces?

Generally, traditional metal braces are the most cost effective solution. The most cost-effective alternative is dependent on a range of factors, however ceramic braces may be a suitable alternative without a significant increase in cost.

Retainers or Clear aligners are also a popular alternative, but the cost of treatment with options like Invisalign can be quite expensive. This may vary depending on the severity of the dental issues.



Thanks to new advancements in the field of orthodontics, traditional metal braces are not the only solution for helping your child achieve that perfect smile. Whether it’s clear aligners, ceramic braces, or lingual braces, there are a range of brace alternatives to choose from.

By exploring different alternatives and consulting with an orthodontist, parents can find the most suitable option for their child’s specific needs.

Our experienced orthodontists specialise in orthodontic treatments for all ages. We understand the challenges they face and work closely with families to create treatment plans that deliver beautiful smiles.

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When To See An Orthodontist In Canberra?

13th May, 2014

If you are thinking about getting an orthodontic treatment, then you probably have one very important question. When do I need to see an orthodontist in Canberra? There are several ways that this question can be answered. Any time that you have a question about your bite and/or the way that your teeth are aligned, you should see one of the orthodontists in Canberra.

For example, if you are having problems speaking, chewing and biting because some of your teeth are misplaced, crowded or protruding, then you will need to consult with one of the leading Canberra orthodontists Orthoclinic. Orthodontists in Canberra such as Orthoclinic have the special training and skills needed to diagnose and treat the problem.

There are other conditions that warrant a trip to an orthodontist in Canberra. Teeth grinding, mouth breathing and inability to close your mouth comfortably are some of the conditions that may require orthodontic treatment. Additionally, Canberra orthodontists can correct tooth abnormalities that are caused by facial asymmetry or imbalance.

Children are advised to see an orthodontist by the age of seven. There are two reasons that children need to see an orthodontist. Orthodontist can determine whether a child has enough room in his or her mouth to accommodate the permanent teeth. It is also a lot easier to correct tooth problems early.

Children who receive orthodontic care early may require shorter treatment times. Keep in mind that just because a child receives an examination from an orthodontist does not mean that he or she will receive treatment right away. In fact, the vast majority of children do not receive orthodontic treatment until they are at least nine years-old.

It is important to note that orthodontic care is not just for children. More and more adults are choosing to get orthodontic treatment. Many adults who receive orthodontic care feel self-conscious about their smile. Orthodontic treatment can improve one’s smile, which can increase one’s confidence.

Well-aligned teeth not only improve appearance, but they can also improve oral health. It is easier to clean the teeth when they are lined up properly. This can reduce one’s chances of developing gum disease and cavities.

Anyone can benefit from orthodontic treatment, regardless of his or her age. Non-compliance is one of the things that reduces the effectiveness of orthodontic treatment, but this usually is not a problem in adults. There are also many types of braces that one can choose from, including lingual braces, ceramic braces and clear aligners.

Contact Orthoclinic today to book an appointment with an orthodontist in Canberra.

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