April 28th, 2015
Parents usually have numerous questions about orthodontic treatment for their children. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment for children should start at around seven years of age. This allows Dr. Zoka to evaluate the child’s existing and incoming teeth to determine whether or not early treatment might be necessary.
What is early orthodontic treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment, known as Phase One, usually begins when the child is eight or nine years old. The goal is to correct bite problems such as an underbite as well as guide the jaw’s growth pattern. It also helps to make room in the mouth for the permanent teeth to be properly placed as they come in. This will greatly reduce the risk of the child needing extractions later in life due to his or her teeth getting crowded.
Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?
There are several ways that you can determine whether your child needs early treatment. If you observe any of these characteristics or behaviors, you should talk to Dr. Zoka.
- Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
- Lat loss of baby teeth (after age five or six)
- The child’s teeth do not meet properly or at all
- The child is a mouth breather
- Front teeth are crowded (you won’t see this until the child is about seven or eight)
- Protruding teeth, typically in the front
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- A speech impediment
- The child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth
- The child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb
What are the benefits of seeking orthodontic treatment early?
Early orthodontic treatment is begun while the child’s jaw bones are still soft. They do not harden until the children reach their late teens. Because the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces work faster than they do for adults.
In short, early treatment at our Camarillo, CA office often allows your child to avoid lengthy procedures, extraction, and surgery in adulthood. Early treatment is an effective preventive measure that lays the foundation for a healthy, stable mouth in adulthood.
April 21st, 2015
At Zoka Orthodontics, we aren’t just concerned with straightening your teeth and giving you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. We are also committed improving the oral health and the well-being of all our patients. Dr. Zoka and our team strive to serve our patients by educating them about their treatments, as well as making them feel as comfortable as possible during their initial consultations up until the day they complete their treatments.
Making our patients more comfortable with taking care of their braces in between visits increases the likelihood that they will complete their treatments successfully. We want you to know that if you should ever have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, whether it’s during your adjustment appointment or after hours, we are always here for you and your family.
Please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Camarillo, CA office or ask us any questions you may have on our Facebook page! We can’t wait to hear from you!
April 14th, 2015
The goal of orthodontic treatment at Zoka Orthodontics, which may include the use of braces, retainers, and aligners, is to straighten your teeth. Treatment often starts in the pre-teen or teenage years, but adults may also need orthodontic treatment. The treatment can feel like a chore that lasts for several months or a couple of years, but it can fix important problems. These include:
- Crowded teeth spaced too close together
- Gaps between your teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Overbite or underbite
- Upper and lower teeth that do not meet
Straight Teeth are More Attractive
You are more likely to be proud of your smile when your teeth are straight and evenly spaced. Pride in your appearance can give you more confidence and encourage you to try new things. This can be particularly important for adolescents. In addition, people often judge others based on first impressions. A smile that shows straight teeth is more attractive.
Better Oral Health is Easier
Brushing and flossing your teeth are two basic components of an oral health routine to protect your teeth from conditions such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and plaque build-up. As Dr. Zoka and our staff know, caring for your mouth is easier when your teeth are straight. The American Dental Association says the following conditions are less likely to occur if you have the proper orthodontic treatment.
- Dental caries
- Gum disease or gingivitis
- Tooth loss
- Impaired speech
- Worn tooth enamel
Orthodontic Treatment Improves Nutrition
Poorly aligned teeth can reduce your ability to chew properly or make certain foods more difficult to eat. Many of these more challenging foods are healthy, and avoiding them can cause you to limit your diet to softer, often less-nutritious foods, such as ice cream and canned soup. Straighter teeth and a better ability to chew let you eat crunchy foods, such as apples and carrots; stringy foods, such as asparagus and chicken; and chewy foods, such as raisins.
April 7th, 2015
You may have noticed that kids seem to be getting braces and other orthodontic care a lot earlier these days. There was a time, only a decade or two ago, when braces were mainly seen on teenagers, but that is beginning to change. If you’re wondering when to bring your child to our Camarillo, CA office for an orthodontic evaluation, the answer actually has several parts.
The Telltale Signs
If your child has a very crowded set of adult teeth coming in, or if the permanent front teeth came in very early, these are signs that your child should see Dr. Zoka, regardless of age.
The Dental Age
Barring signs of trouble or early adult teeth as mentioned above, the time that your child needs to be seen for initial orthodontic evaluation depends not so much upon your child’s actual age, but on what is known as a “dental age.”
The dental age of the patient might be entirely different from his or her actual chronological age; for example, an eight-year-old could have a dental age of 13. It is part of Dr. Zoka and our staff’s job to determine the dental age and then make appropriate recommendations for the resolution of orthodontic issues if they are emerging.
The Official Recommended Age
The American Association of Orthodontists officially recommends that kids should see an orthodontist for the first time between the ages of seven and nine. Even if the child does not have all his or her permanent teeth, the teeth growth pattern can usually be predicted quite effectively by an orthodontist.
This allows for a proactive response to emerging problems, and this is the reason that some younger children are now getting orthodontic devices earlier in life. If a young child has serious orthodontic issues emerging, Dr. Zoka can usually address the problems immediately and then follow up with another round of treatment when the child has all the adult teeth.