Our Ortho Blog
Our Ortho Blog
Summer is the Best Time to Start Orthodontic Treatment
Summer days are finally here! Whether you plan on camping or glamping, swimming or sunning yourself by the pool, staying close to home or jetting off to exotic locations, these long days and later mornings are something we can all get excited about. You probably have not spent much time thinking about your child’s teeth or any potential orthodontic treatment while you have been soaking up the sun, so it may surprise you to hear that this is actually the perfect time of year to explore how Unger Orthodontics can benefit your child’s smile, particularly if they have not had their first full orthodontic evaluation yet.
Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children be screened for orthodontic issues before they reach the age of seven? If you have a child around this age, we would love to meet them! And if your child has already had an orthodontic evaluation and been diagnosed with an oral issue, summer is an excellent time to introduce orthodontic treatment. Let us take a closer look to understand why!
Lazier days mean less on the schedule
Families are busier these days than ever before, and during the school year especially, parents can feel run off their feet with activities. Work, school, gym, extracurriculars – sometimes it seems as though every square on the calendar has something in it! During orthodontic treatment, regular check-ups are a must. This is when our doctor will make important adjustments and make sure everything is progressing on the right track. Because schedules tend to be a bit more relaxed during the summer, it can be easier to find the time to get into this new routine.
When we see a child for their initial orthodontic consultation, we cover a good bit of ground during the appointment. This includes things such as:
- a review of the dental and medical history
- a complete oral exam including x-rays
- a discussion of our findings, treatment options, and what to expect during the treatment process
- a personalized plan and schedule an appointment to begin the treatment process
- a detailed conversation about financial and insurance options, as well as answering any questions you may have
Scheduling this lengthier appointment during summer vacation means you do not need to worry about it cutting into your child’s school day. The same holds true for their appointment to have their braces put on or receive their first set of aligners.
An easier transition from the comfort of home
The techniques and technology used in modern orthodontics have made tremendous progress in recent years. The result is an improvement in treatment options across the board. Traditional braces are more comfortable and less conspicuous than they have ever been, and patients now have more discreet offerings to choose from, such as the Invisalign clear aligner system and ceramic braces.
That said, any orthodontic appliance will still have a learning curve that requires a short period of adjustment, particularly with braces. There can be temporary aches and pains in the mouth and jaw, and there are also a number of food restrictions kids will need to get used to. These can be a real distraction at school, but at home, your child is more in control of their environment. By starting orthodontic treatment in the summer, it will be easier for your child to avoid any lunchtime temptation and stick to the softer, simpler foods that will be gentle on their mouth and their braces.
Even patients undergoing treatment with clear aligners will need some time to adapt. The Invisalign clear aligner system works by wearing a series of removable aligners over the teeth daily, which make slight adjustments to their positions over time. These aligners will generally be replaced on a weekly basis, allowing the tooth straightening process to continue on schedule. This method of treatment will only work if the aligners are worn exactly as directed. Keeping them in for less than the recommended 20-22 hours every day can result in extra treatment time, which nobody wants!
Without the demands of completing homework, studying for tests, and early alarms set, summer vacation is an excellent opportunity for students of all ages to get used to the ins and outs of orthodontic treatment.
Extra time for extra care
The early mornings and busy days that come with the school year can leave all of us ready to dive straight into our beds without even glancing at our toothbrush. But when it comes to taking care of your smile, a good oral hygiene routine is imperative. It is even more important for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. We can do our part by putting on braces and fitting them for the aligners that can help straighten your child’s teeth, but we cannot keep them clean!
When it comes to braces, dental hygiene will often require a little extra effort thanks to the wires and brackets. It may take some experimenting with your child to find a routine that really works for them. When you do not have to set an early morning alarm or be in bed by a certain time, there is plenty of extra hours in the day to find the best way to brush and floss effectively. This will not only keep their teeth happy but keep treatment progressing on track, too.
Beautiful Smiles all summer long
With long days full of fun and free from the stresses that accompany school, summertime is perfect for taking the first step towards your child’s very best smile. The entire Unger Orthodontics team is here to help you get started! Our experienced, skilled staff believe in the power of teamwork and are dedicated to working together to give every patient we see the most positive orthodontic experience possible. Creating healthy, beautiful smiles that last a lifetime is not our only goal – the overall oral health of each patient is also an important part of the treatment process.