Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner
Summer vacation is upon us, and we’re all excited about staying up late, sleeping in, and spending lazy days by the pool. You probably haven’t been spending much time thinking about orthodontic treatment while working on your tan, but this is actually the perfect time of year to explore all the ways Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics can benefit your child’s smile, especially if
they haven’t had their first full orthodontic evaluation yet. The American Association of Orthodontists recommend children be screened for orthodontic issues before they reach the age of seven, so if you have a child around this age, we’d love to meet them! If your child has already had an orthodontic evaluation and been diagnosed with an oral issue, summer is an optimal time to begin orthodontic treatment. Why? Let’s take a look!
SCHOOL’S OUT FOR THE SUMMER
Today’s families are busier than ever before, and during the school year, parents can sometimes feel run off their feet with activities. Between work, school, gym time, and extracurriculars, you’re lucky to find one square in your calendar that doesn’t have something penciled in! One of the most important parts of orthodontic treatment is regular check-ups, during which our doctors will make adjustments and make sure everything is progressing as it should be. Summer is a much easier time to get into this kind of routine, since your family’s schedule tends to be more open and relaxed than it is when school is in session.
A child’s initial consultation covers quite a bit of ground, including things like
- a review of the dental and medical history
- a complete oral exam including x-rays
- a discussion about goals, available options, and what to expect during the treatment
- creating a personalized plan and scheduling an appointment to begin the process answering any questions you may have, as well as detailing financial and insurance options
Scheduling this lengthier appointment for the summertime can make it a little easier to fit into your schedule, since there are no worries about cutting into your child’s school day. The same goes for the day they receive their braces or clear aligners. Speaking of which….
AN EASIER TRANSITION AT HOME
Modern orthodontics have improved in leaps and bounds in recent years. Traditional braces are more comfortable and less conspicuous than they’ve ever been, and patients now have more discreet treatment options such as the Invisalign clear aligner system and ceramic braces. However, these appliances do still have a learning curve and will generally require a short period of adjustment, particularly with braces. An aching mouth is a temporary possibility, and there are also a number of food restrictions for kids to get used to. These things can be distracting at school, but at home, your child is more in control of their environment. Starting orthodontic treatment in the summer makes it easier to avoid lunchtime temptation and stick to the kind of soft, simple foods that will be easy on their mouth and their braces.
Even patients with clear aligners 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 are usually replaced weekly, allowing the tooth straightening process to continue effectively. Wearing them as directed is the only way this treatment to work — keeping them in for less than the recommended 20-22 hours every day can result in extra treatment time.
Without homework, tests, and school projects to occupy most of their time, summer vacation is an excellent chance for students to get used to the ins and outs of orthodontic treatment so they’re prepped and ready to handle the school year to come!
EXTRA TIME TO EXCEL AT A NEW ORAL HYGIENE ROUTINE
The early mornings (along with the occasional late night) that come with the school year can leave you and your kids ready to fall into bed without so much as a sideways glance at your toothbrush. But maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is one of the most important parts of taking care of your smile, and it becomes even more important for a patient undergoing orthodontic treatment. Braces and aligners can straighten your child’s teeth, but they won’t keep them clean!
Braces often require a little extra effort when it comes to dental hygiene, thanks to the wires and brackets, and it can take some experimenting to find a routine that works for your child. Not having to set an alarm or be in bed by a certain time means there are plenty of hours in the day to practice the kind of oral hygiene that will keep their mouth healthy and happy, and keep treatment progressing the way it should.
SUMMER SMILES WITH LEAVER & GARDNER ORTHODONTICS
Long, lazy days and nights free from the stresses of school – there’s no better time to start your child on the road to a straighter smile, and the Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics team is here to get them going. Our staff have years of chairside experience and work hard to provide a friendly, relaxed, and caring atmosphere for you and your family. We strive to give each and every patient we see the best possible custom orthodontic care from start to finish! Your child’s overall oral health is our ultimate goal, and Dr. Leaver, Dr. Gardner, and our entire staff work together to create healthy, beautiful smiles to last a lifetime.
If you’re in Henderson, Centennial Hills, Summerlin, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, or any of the surrounding communities, and have a child ready for an orthodontic evaluation or orthodontic treatment, give us a call today or stop by one of our two convenient Las Vegas office locations to schedule an appointment with us. At Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics , your child’s smile is our top priority in every season, but summer is a great time to get started, so get in touch with us today!