Braces have almost become an inevitable rite of passage for many kids and teenagers. You may have had braces as a kid, and now you’ve reached the point where you are wondering if your own child needs them. Pediatric Dental Associates his so excited to offer orthodontic services and treatments to our patients with our partner and orthodontist, Dr. Ben Samuelson.
If you haven’t already met Dr. Samuelson and our orthodontic staff, here’s what you need to know!
Dr. Samuelson received a Biomedical Sciences degree with honors from Auburn University. He then went on to pursue a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, where he also completed his orthodontic residency as well as a Master of Science in Orthodontics.
While in dental school, Dr. Samuelson was the president of his dental class as well as the chief resident in his orthodontic residency. He received numerous awards including the Dean’s Medal, the school’s highest honor. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
Dr. Samuelson and his wife, Mallory, are parents to their fur baby, Bella. Outside of the office, Dr. Samuelson enjoys woodworking and spending time with family and friends. He is also an avid sports fan and loves coaching youth sports.
We recently asked Dr. Samuelson to share his thoughts on when a child should see an orthodontist and to explain some of the reasons a child might need braces.
Most adults today probably had braces as a teenager. However, The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontist by age seven. This allows us to spot any problems and correct them early.
What are some reasons a child might need braces?
Of course, there are always aesthetic reasons – everyone wants straight, beautiful teeth. But as a child grows and develops, issues can arise that can lead to complications as they get older if not corrected. Some signs include:
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Breathing through the mouth
- Sucking of the thumb(s) or fingers
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Adult teeth that haven’t grown in because other teeth have shifted and blocked them.
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude, or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or into the roof of the mouth
- Teeth that protrude
- The top and bottom teeth meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- Facial features are out of proportion with the rest of the face
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Inability to comfortably close lips
Thankfully, braces have come a long way over the last couple decades. If it is determined your child needs braces, there is a wide variety of options available to ensure your child has a healthy smile well into adulthood.
Pediatric Dental Associates of Alabama is led by top-rated pediatric dentists with locations in Birmingham, Cullman, Medplex-Hoover, Oxford and Pell City. When looking for your child’s dentist, know that we aspire to be the premier provider of pediatric dental services in Alabama. Beautiful smiles are our specialty!