Orthodontics for Children / Teens

Braces Northborough, MAOrthodontists should evaluate children by age seven to advise parents about future orthodontic treatment. Timing and treatments vary depending on the child's needs. At age 7, or there about, the first permanent molars and incisors will have erupted and it is highly recommended that  crossbites be corrected. Since crossbites are closely related to airway problems now is the time to get this evaluated if it has not been addressed. Untreated crossbites can lead to asymmetrical growth and damage to the TMJs. Skeletal development at this early age will help with crowding. Children who are complaining of frequent temporal headaches, often baffle the medical communities, correcting the vertical dimension of the bite is non-invasive and often eliminates these headaches. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and permanent teeth. Airway evaluation is critical early on in development. Airway problems will often lead to improper facial skeletal growth...crossbites and long faces. Parents, take notice if your child is suffering from attention deficit disorders because airway problems may be the culprit. Orthodontics can help to developing the airway. Every 1 mm of upper jaw expansion, improves airflow through the nose by 2.34%. Expansion increasing the width of the upper and lower dental arches gaining space for permanent teeth and avoiding the need for extractions and reducing the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth. Correcting thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems are other things Aubin Orthodontics can assist with. In other words, early treatment is important when deemed necessary and it will often simplify treatment later and improve your child's chances for success.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What causes orthodontic problems?
Most orthodontic problems are both environmental and inherited. Tooth size, jaw size overbites, underbites, extra or missing teeth are all irregularities of the jaw, teeth, and face that can be traced to our genetic heritage. Other orthodontic problems can be traced to the environmental influences, such as accidents, pacifiers or thumb sucking, airway problems and dental disease that lead to premature loss of either the primary or permanent teeth.

How early should children get an orthodontic evaluation?
Aubin Orthodontics - Simple guidelines: Children should be examined at the time their 1st permanent molars are coming in, approximately age 7. However, every child is different, So the best answer is: “It depends…”If your child requires treatment, early intervention can make a real difference." At Aubin Orthodontics we do not charge for our initial consultation, so if in doubt make an appointment today, don't settle for uncertainty. During the initial examination, we will evaluate your child’s facial growth, spacing between teeth, crowding, extra or missing teeth, TMJ and airway. And we will look for habits like tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking that may hinder normal growth and development. These problems can change tooth alignment as well as alter facial growth. If your child doesn’t require any early intervention, we will schedule you for periodic follow-up exams. Follow-up exams consist of evaluating growth and waiting for the permanent teeth to arrive. Orthodontic treatment at Aubin Orthodontics is about teeth, lips, face and TMJ harmony. It is know that a pleasing appearance and a health smile gives children — and adults — an advantage in life.

What are spacers?
Teeth normally fit tightly against one another. Spacers are inserted before placement of the braces to provide space between the teeth for placement of the bands. There are two types of spacers, small springs or plastic modules. After a few days the teeth move slightly apart. Spacers often cause some soreness for 3-5 days, but this will pass. Cold light therapy is offered at Aubin Orthodontics to mitigate the soreness. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water helps to relieve the soreness as well as mild pain relieving medications.

What do I do if a spacer comes out?
Call your doctor if you loose more than one spacer, we will replace. Without spacers your next appointment maybe more difficult.

What foods should I avoid while wearing braces?
You can eat just about anything, but there are some exceptions. At Aubin Orthodontics we feel that getting used to braces also means making a few adjustments in your eating habits. This is because some food might damage your braces or your teeth. Here is a list of items that the orthodontic team at Aubin Orthodontics suggests you avoid (or enjoyed with caution):

The common theme of this list is HARD and STICKY foods- AVOID:

  • Apples (don’t bite into a whole one! Cut it into wedges first.)
  • Bubble gum
  • Candy (caramels, taffy, nut brittles, fruit-flavored chewy candies, gummi anything!)
  • Carrots (avoid sticks, cut into thin curls)
  • Corn on the cob (remove the kernels from the cob, then enjoy!)
  • Corn chips/crisp tacos
  • Hard foods (they’re tough on braces, causing bending and breaking)
  • Ice (no crunching!)
  • Lemon juice/lemons (pure lemon juice is very hard on your tooth enamel)
  • Nuts
  • Pizza crust/crusty breads (outer edges)
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels (the large, hard varieties)
  • Sticky foods (can bend wires and pull off brackets)
  • Sugary foods (at Aubin Orthodontics, we feel you should avoid these as much as possible

How often do I need to brush with braces?
When your mouth is loaded with extras — bands, brackets, and wires — brushing your teeth is more difficult so more time ⌚ and prudence is required. Preferably you should brush within five minutes after eating, whether you've snacked or eat a regular meal. Brushing away cavity-causing bacteria helps keep your teeth health. Carry a travel toothbrush in your backpack, purse, or briefcase is important.

How do I brush my teeth with braces?
Brush between wires and gums to loosen any food particles. There are special toothbrushes for this, check with us for recommendations. At Aubin Orthodontics of Wakefield we suggest you start on the outside of your upper teeth, positioning the bristles at a 45 degree angle, toward the gum. Brush two to three teeth at a time using a circular motion, about ten strokes.

  • Next, brush the inner surfaces in the same manner.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces.
  • Repeat the same process for the lower teeth as for the upper ones.
  • Rinse your mouth as well as your toothbrush. Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure you’ve brushed all tooth surfaces.
  • Floss daily between braces using a floss threader.
  • Toothpicks, stimudents, and other interdental devices work well around braces.

At Aubin Orthodontics of Wakefield we often suggest you use a waterpik- another oral hygiene device that can assist in the removal of food particles that your toothbrush had not reached. Waterpik are used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as a substitute!

While wearing braces, be sure to schedule regular dental exams every three to six months for cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of cavities.