Orthodontics for Young People

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Orthodontic FAQ’s for Parents

Why use a private specialist orthodontist like Crocodile?

You can find a list of all specialist orthodontists registered in the UK on the General Dental Council (GDC) website and treatment is free for under-18s on the NHS. However there is usually a waiting list of 18 months or more and a referral from your child’s dentist doesn’t guarantee treatment. In the meantime your child’s mouth will change and you may miss the opportunity to give them the least invasive and most effective orthodontic treatment.

 What’s the best age to have braces?

It’s best to be assessed around the age of seven so we can detect potential problems and plan any necessary orthodontic treatment according to the changes in your child’s mouth, keeping disruption and length of treatment to a minimum.

 How common is orthodontic treatment?

The British Orthodontic Society says 202,300 people started orthodontic treatment in England and Wales in 2014-15 and the vast majority were children, with 72,300 children under 13 years old and 128,500 children aged 13 to 17. Braces are usually more successful in children, which is why most orthodontic patients are children.

How long does treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment usually takes 18 to 24 months, followed by a period in which retainers must be worn. Timing will vary according to the complexity of each case.

How often will we need to visit the orthodontist?

In most cases braces will need to be adjusted every six to 12 weeks.

Is it too early for my child to have braces?

In most cases it is far easier to straighten teeth in under-18s than it is in older people, and early treatment has the added benefit of avoiding permanent damage to your child’s teeth and gums from trapped food and poor oral hygiene, because straight teeth are easier to clean. Before treatment our patients nearly always have their second teeth through, unless there is another reason for early intervention such as an impacted tooth that needs urgent attention. Orthodontic treatment is a complex balancing act that exerts pressure on teeth over 18 to 24 months, while taking into account all the other forces at play in the mouth.

What if my child feels too self conscious with braces?

With the surge in popularity of orthodontic treatment among young people braces are a far more common sight at school than they once were and so standing out is less of an issue. However at Crocodile we offer ceramic braces which are less obvious and two types of invisible braces: aligners and lingual braces. Whether the invisible options can be offered to your child will depend on the results of their clinical assessment at Crocodile.

How do I stop my child eating sweets?

We know it’s hard, but these foods and drinks can lead to enamel damage which means when the brace comes off, your child’s beautiful new straight teeth could be damaged permanently. We find that most of our young patients adapt very quickly to the dietary requirements of wearing braces and have no problem meeting the extra level of dental hygiene either.

Is there parking at NCOC?

Yes, there is free on-site parking.

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