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Health Matters

Does My Child NEED Braces?

March 1st, 20161 Comment

By Dr. Benjamin Koh

Patients seek orthodontic treatment for a variety of reasons, but obtaining straighter teeth seem to be the most common motive. Straight teeth not only make a smile more attractive, but it can also have powerful positive effects on self-esteem, especially for those who began with severely crooked teeth. In fact, those with straight teeth tend to be perceived as more intelligent and are more likely to be hired than those with less-than-ideal dental esthetics, according to a research survey. However, many parents wonder if braces are ‘necessary’ and if there are any other medical benefits in order to justify such a large financial investment in braces for their children and themselves.

For the majority of patients, orthodontic treatment to straighten a few crowded teeth is considered an elective cosmetic procedure. Though in many cases, having straighter teeth can go beyond appearances alone. Crooked teeth not only tend to trap more plaque and bacteria, but they are also much harder to brush and floss around compared to straight teeth. This increases the chances of developing cavities, gum inflammation, and eventual bone and tooth loss. Research has also shown that chronic gum inflammation can be linked to developing heart disease. In addition to crooked teeth, having a bad bite can contribute to clicking and pain in the jaw joints, headaches, clenching and grinding leading to worn down teeth, and potentially sleep issues. In a developing child, speech impairment, swallowing and feeding can also be encountered.

It is important to know that the majority of these issues can be prevented and treated during your child’s development stage since teeth are much easier to move before they settle into their adulthood positions. If you are unsure whether orthodontics is necessary for yourself or your child, we encourage you to seek a Certified Orthodontist for an assessment.

At Fort McMurray Orthodontics, we specialize in a variety of treatments for children and adults including braces, Invisalign, and conservative TMD (jaw pain) treatment.

Dr. Benjamin Koh is a Registered Specialist in Orthodontics in Fort McMurray. He completed his Bachelor of Medical Sciences at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario prior to obtaining his Dental Degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his Orthodontic Specialty training at the University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado.

Reader Comments (1)

Rev Jim Mullins said on April 11, 2016

I Knew Dr. Koh in Cleveland, Ohio and appreciated the good dental care from him. He gave me guidance on taking care of my teeth. Thanks.

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