August 8, 2017

When it comes to our children, we all want the very best for them.

No matter whether it’s helping them meet their very first milestones, finding a sport that is perfect for them or if it’s helping them be the best person they can be, it’s all important.

The oral health of our children is no different; we’re all brilliant at getting them on the right path with brushing and visits to the dentist but we’re quite unsure about when (or whether) they need to see an orthodontist.

This was confirmed in research we conducted with MoM Members just recently so we thought we’d give you the top 5 reasons it’s a good idea to visit an orthodontist.

1. Orthodontists are specialists

As mums we all want the best advice when it comes to straightening our kids’ teeth. Even if you love your dentist, it’s still worth a visit to the orthodontist (your dentist may even recommend it).

Orthodontists are experts in their field, specialising in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities to help correctly align teeth, bites and jaws, including straightening crooked teeth.

An orthodontist has been specifically trained and is the most qualified and experienced person to treat issues to do with the alignment of teeth and jaws to ensure you, or your child, ends up with a healthy and confident smile.

2. Your smile is one of your most important features

Being confident is often a game changer for adults but also children. And of course we want our children to be the most confident they can be – it can set them up for life!

I’ve always said that “a big, confident smile is the first thing a person notices. So if helping my kids get the best smile they can means visiting the orthodontist, let’s do it”.

Having confidence in your smile can positively change your life, which is why talking to an orthodontist is so important.

A beautiful, straight smile not only means your teeth are easier to clean and your gums are healthier, it can also help exude confidence and reduce stress.

3. The physical and health reasons

So we’ve talked about the psychological benefits of a big, beautiful smile but orthodontic treatments can also address many issues that could result in problems including:

  • Bad bites that can actually damage teeth and gums over time
  • Crooked, misaligned and overcrowded teeth which can be very hard to clean resulting in cavities
  • Speech, breathing or chewing difficulties
  • Misaligned jaws (which can affect your facial profile)

An orthodontist can also help in the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea and can help manage persistent thumb and finger sucking habits in children.

4. No one size fits all anymore

If you’re anything like me, going to the orthodontist in my teens meant ‘train track’ braces and if you were really unlucky, all kinds of weird braces and headgear! Traumatic to say the least.

These days there are so many options available; orthodontic treatments are now designed to be as unobtrusive and comfortable as possible so patients can get on with their lives without embarrassment or discomfort.

While braces are still an extremely effective way of straightening teeth and achieving a great smile, modern orthodontic treatment options now include clear braces, lingual (inside) braces and clear aligners (for example Invisalign aligners).

A specialist orthodontist has the training, experience and complete suite of treatment options to give you the confidence you’re in the best hands possible.

5. Kids and orthodontics

Here are two facts that now have me thinking I should have been doing something a few years ago …

Did you know that young kids with crooked teeth or bad bites can be seen by an orthodontist around the age of 7-8yrs? 

Did you also know that that no referral is needed to see an orthodontist?

No, I didn’t know either of those facts.  But apparently I’m not alone – most Aussie parents are a little confused when it comes to understanding orthodontics.

What is important to understand is that some (but not all) orthodontic problems can be easily corrected when treated in young growing jaws, well before all the adult teeth are through.

Waiting until the teenage years to see an orthodontist for the first time could result in further worsening of these early problems resulting in more complicated and invasive treatment methods later on.

The thing is that there’s a good chance your child won’t need any orthodontic treatment. But taking your child to see an orthodontist between the ages of 7-10 will give the orthodontist a chance to assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws and determine if and whether, early intervention is indicated.

So with all that in mind, I think we need to add a trip to the orthodontist to our list. They do get very busy (especially during school holidays) so the best thing to do is just give your local orthodontist a call. Or ask other Mum friends who’ve been through the process who they could recommend.

This post is brought to you as part of the Mouths of Mums and Invisalign partnership; After witnessing the dramatic difference alignment work with an orthodontist has made for her oldest son in terms of his overall confidence, MoM Founder Nikki and her daughter Emma have both just embarked on their own alignment journey with an Invisalign treatment.  We will be bringing you a series of articles and videos over the coming months so you can follow their Invisalign journey.

For more information on an Invisalign treatment, visit www.invisalign.com.au

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  • Thank you for your great advice. My daughter is 5 but already having bad dental problems and ended up at the royal dental hospital in Carlton. A proceedure I wouldn’t want her to go thru again, although it was $7500 cheaper than a private dentist/ peadiatric dentist!! Now I think I’ll get her to an orthodontist to make sure her teeth are growing properly to avoid any more major work. Excellent advice, that will definately come in very handy! Thanx again :-)

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  • I took my son to an orthodontist when he was seven. He had a tooth that grew twisted. I didn’t realise I didn’t need a referral until I rang to make an appointment and they told me. He was brilliant and now my son has straight teeth. Definitely worth the 6 hour drive as we live in the country. He had to wear braces for about 6 months with trips to the city every month for them to be adjusted and then he had to wear a plate for 6 months which he would take out when he ate. Best money we ever spent.

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  • I think it’s worth visiting for the right reasons. Not for vanity or aesthetics. My son was bullied because his teeth protruded and had a large gap. When he explained to me what was going on and why he wanted braces, I agreed to the process.


    • Exactly right and well done – it does make a huge difference to confidence. Sorry to read that your son was being bullied. :( Hope all is ok now. :)

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  • A good orthodontist and their work on teeth definitely gives children a confidence boost. I have seen children that do not smile and do not have confidence – smile and be confident after the completion of treatment.

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  • Thank you so much for posting this informative article. It is one of the best articles I have read on MOMs.

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  • Fantastic article! My daughter is 5 and the public dental system want to rip out 3/4 back teeth ‘just in case’ but then leave them so the adult teeth grow thru without guidance from the missing teeth which will leave her teeth to grow crooked!! And this is the royal Melbourne dental hospital in Carlton. I took in letters from peadiatric dentists addressed to them so they knew what had been done so far but they didn’t even want to read them. Worst dentist I’ve taken my daughter to, and that’s after 5 different opinions at dental clinics-and it’s joined to Melbourne university!!! This is what little schooling they do before working at the dental hospital.
    I’m broke living day to day but would rather see a proper dentist for minimum $7500 than have my daughter subject to that horrible treatment.
    Absolutely appalling Melbourne / victoria. I’m shocked at the uncoordinated, miscommunications and a 5 hour wait for 15 min appointment.
    Thanks so much for this information about orthodontics, now I’ll get health insurance extras only to cover her teeth and eyes just in case. I don’t know how I’m going to pay for my daughters teeth, I’m hoping my bank will lend me the money. The cost of teeth is so overwhelming, and for a 5 year old who has eaten healthy her whole life and I’ve looked after her teeth so well I’m frustrated and lost to say the least .
    Wish us luck…..

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  • Definitely seems worthwhile, thanks for that.

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  • My son got braces a couple of years ago and is in the final stages of a nightly retainer. For him, it was less about cosmetics or aesthetics, and more about health and self-esteem, and bullying. It was the best thing we ever did for him.

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  • My daughter got her braces when she was 7, best choice ever to do it early !

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  • Great advertisement

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  • A family member used one and the results were amazing.

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  • Certainly food for thought here.

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  • Only the orthodontist who said

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  • A good dentist will tell you if they need to go to an orthodontist. But a perfect smile isn’t everything. Orthodontists are expensive and some families just can’t afford it. Their kids shouldn’t suffer because they dont look perfect.


    • I agree with that. After the retainer, the orthodontist wanted my daughter to put on braces. She didn’t have any problem eating, everything was fine. The problem was more aesthetic, with both two canines slightly protruding. My daughter doesn’t mind, they don’t look bad. Some famous people have the same problem like Jacqueline Kennedy, Prince Andrew… and they never corrected it. And it costs 6000 dollars! Who has that money??

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  • My daughter used a retainer for 18 months when she was around 8-9 years old, and it really helped!!

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