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Parent’s Common Questions

At what age should my child have an orthodontic evaluation by Dr. Bronsky?

Age 7, or at any age a parent or dentist recognizes a problem.

The purpose of the orthodontic evaluation at age 7 is to:

A. Evaluate presence or absence of adult teeth.
B. Evaluate eruption of permanent teeth.
C. Evaluate jaw and tooth relationships.
D. Evaluate need to prevent injury to protruding front teeth.
E. Evaluate need to prevent irreversible periodontal problems related to crowding and/or “bad bite”.
F. Evaluate need to prevent skeletal asymmetry from functional shift of the mandible.
G. Evaluate need to prevent impaction of developing permanent anterior teeth.

My child is so young. Shouldn’t we wait until he/she is older and all of the adult teeth are in before we see an orthodontist?

The answer is NO. Why ?

A. Dr. Bronsky can check to make sure the jaws are growing normally.
B. Dr. Bronsky can check to see if adult teeth are developing correctly.
C. Abnormal jaw relationships will not improve on their own. That’s a fact!
D. Once the first molars have erupted, space available for eruption of incisors canines and premolars is virtually set for life.
E. If there is crowding, the size of the teeth doesn’t get any smaller, and the amount of space in front of the first molars doesn’t get any bigger.

What should we do about the space between the two front teeth?

Shouldn’t we get braces ?

A. If the space is less than 2mm, it will usually close when the upper canines erupt.
B. if the space is more than 2mm, the space will not close on its own. Completion of root formation occurs one and a half years after a tooth erupts. Root growth will be stunted if “braces” are placed before the roots are closed.

Should we have the gum cut (frenectomy) between the upper front teeth to help close the space between them?

No. Contemporary orthodontic consensus only recommends a frenectomy following orthodontic space closure, so that scar tissue that forms helps to keep the space closed. Frenectomy without prior space closure could make closing the space more difficult in the future, due to scar tissue formation.

My child grinds his/her teeth at night. Should I be worried?

Tooth grinding is not abnormal for a child in the primary and mixed dentitions (before age 12). Excessive tooth enamel wear, secondary to grinding, may be correlated with a “bad bite”, and the patient should have an orthodontic evaluation if this is suspected.

Will my child need braces?

We don’t know for sure. Dr. Bronsky will be primarily interested in evaluating your child’s jaw growth, tooth eruption and “bite” relationships. Treatment, if recommended, depends on your child’s individual orthodontic problems.

Why should we be worried about a cross bite?

A. A cross bite indicates a mismatch between the upper and lower jaws, that if not corrected, could interfere with development of a proper “bite” and lead to difficulties with chewing.
B. A crossbite on one side only, usually indicates shifting of the lower jaw to that side, due to a mismatch between the upper and lower jaws. This jaw shifting can result in uneven lower jaw growth, which could require corrective surgery, as an adult, if left untreated.

My child has only baby teeth. Why should I see Dr. Bronsky when they are so young?

A. Severe upper and lower jaw mismatches and severe crowding should be evaluated as soon as these problems are recognized, just as you would have other bones of your child’s body evaluated if they did not fit together properly.
B. If a child has a front of side tooth cross bite, it is usually the indication of a jaw growth problem.

Will playing a musical instrument affect my child’s teeth?

No. Pressure on the teeth for less than four per day, as in practicing on a musical instrument, has no measurable effects.

When should I begin trying to stop my child’s thumb/finger sucking?

Thumb and finger sucking should be stopped prior to the eruption of the child’s permanent front teeth to prevent tooth and bone distortion. Dr. Bronsky has an excellent success rate with assisting patients and parents with this problem.