Visits to the orthodontist's office are nearly the norm for kids with crooked teeth. The endless progression of dental impressions, braces, headgears and retainers can suck up years of time and effort, causing no end of discomfort to your child and, of course, wreaking havoc on your wallet.
All this fun isn't just for middle schoolers and teenagers -- the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids see an orthodontist by the time they're 7 years old. If they get in while they still have most of their baby teeth, the logic goes, the orthodontist might be able to detect and fix problems that otherwise might take years to correct.
So, what are the options for straightening your child's teeth? As it turns out, they're not so different from when you were a kid. Unfortunately, there haven't been any revolutionary advancements in the field of orthodontics that will allow your child to have shining rows of pearly whites in a matter of months. Treatment times have decreased a bit, but traditional metal braces and retainers are still the rage -- although braces are a little smaller nowadays (and sometimes clear). So, chances are you're in for the long haul. But that's a small price to pay for a beautiful smile.