After a winter that seemed to last forever (and a nonexistent spring), summer is finally here and in full swing! Now that we are done with cold morning and surprise snows, we can kick back, relax, and enjoy these school-free days. Some of us are planners who have packed a million small adventures into the next couple of months, and some of us plan on doing nothing but laying by the pool and working on our tan while our kids splash around in the water. Whatever the summer holds for you, it is a good bet that orthodontic treatment is not anything that has been on your mind, but this is actually the perfect time of year to explore all the ways Langford Orthodontics can benefit your child’s smile, especially if they have not had their first full orthodontic evaluation yet!

It is not uncommon for parents to be unaware of the American Association of Orthodontists recommendation that all children have their first orthodontic visit by around the age of seven. If you have a child that falls into this category who has not yet been seen, we would love to meet them! Do you have a child who has already had an orthodontic evaluation and been diagnosed with an oral issue? Let us take a look at why summer is a fantastic time to introduce them to the idea of orthodontic treatment.

Summer schedules leave more time to chill

Between work, school, exercising, and extracurriculars, today’s families have more on their plate than ever before. The early mornings and late nights the school year brings can be particularly stressful for parents. When a child is undergoing orthodontic treatment, regular check-ups are an important part of the process. Dr. Langford uses these appointments to make sure everything is progressing the way it should and to make any adjustments that are needed. With a more relaxed schedule in the summer, it can be easier to find time for this new routine without feeling run off your feet.

If you are scheduling your child’s first orthodontic consultation with us, plan to be in our office for a while, as we cover quite a bit of ground during that appointment. This will typically include:

  • a review of your child’s dental and medical history
  • a thorough oral exam that includes x-rays
  • a discussion of treatment options and what to expect during the orthodontic process
  • a personalized treatment plan for your child
  • scheduling an appointment to begin the treatment process
  • information on your financial and insurance options
  • answering any questions or concerns you may have

By scheduling this lengthier appointment during summer vacation, you will not have to worry about it cutting into your child’s school day. This is also true for appointments to have their braces put on or receive their first set of clear aligners. That said, we are happy to schedule a separate appointment for your consultation if that is preferred.

Cute young girl with braces fishing on a lake

Tackle learning curves in a comfortable environment

The techniques and technology available in modern orthodontics make today’s treatments more comfortable and effective than they have ever been, but all orthodontic appliances have a learning curve that requires a short period of adjustment. This is especially true for braces. It is not uncommon to have temporary aches and pains in the mouth or jaw in the early days or after adjustments, and there are quite a few food restrictions kids will need to get used to, too. These are things that have the potential to be a real distraction at school. However, from the comfort of home, they are relegated to mostly minor annoyances.

Even if you have a tween or teen undergoing treatment with Invisalign clear aligners, he or she will need some time to adapt. The Invisalign system works by wearing a series of removable aligners over the teeth for 20-22 hours a day and replacing them on a weekly basis. It may sound simple, but it can only work if the aligners are worn exactly as directed by Dr. Langford. Noncompliance can result in extra treatment time, something nobody wants, least of all patients are parents.

Starting orthodontic treatment in the summer means your child has more control over their immediate environment, making it easier for kids in braces to avoid any lunchtime temptation and stick to the softer, simpler foods that will be gentle on their mouth and their braces, keeping treatment on track. For those in aligners, there is extra time to get used to the ins and outs of the Invisalign system. Summer vacation frees your child (and you!) from the demands of homework, tests, and early alarms, and is an excellent opportunity for students of all ages to get used to the realities of their orthodontic treatment.

Extra time for oral hygiene

We all know how important a good oral hygiene routine is to the overall health of our smiles, but the busy days and hectic evenings of the school year can leave us all ready to fall into bed without even glancing at our toothbrush and floss. For patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, it is even more imperative to brush and floss as recommended. We can give your child the braces and aligners to straighten their teeth, but those appliances cannot keep them clean!

Invisalign aligners are removed prior to brushing and flossing, but if your child is in braces, a little extra effort is often required to really get in between all the wires and brackets. Some experimentation may be necessary until they find a routine that works best for them. Without any bedtimes to be enforced or early morning alarms to snooze, your child will find there are plenty of hours in the day to figure out how to keep their braces clean. This will make their mouth happy, their smile bright, and their treatment will stay on track.

Portrait Of Three Teenage Girls Leaning Against Wall

Start your child on a straighter smile this summer with Langford Orthodontics

One of the best things about summer is the way these long, lazy, stress-free days give us the chance to spend quality time with our family and friends, trying new things and making new memories. That also makes it one of the best times of the year to take the first step towards a healthier smile for your child! Here at Langford Orthodontics, we are ready to help you get started. If you have a child who is ready for their first orthodontic evaluation in Seymour or one in need of orthodontic treatment in West Knoxville, why not get in touch with us today? We are proud to serve the families of these communities, as well as the surrounding areas. Dr. Langford and the rest of our amazing team are waiting to create the kind of beautifully aligned, fully functional smile that will last your child a lifetime!

- Dr. Langford

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