For All Ages
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.
Orthodontics for Teens
Now that we’ve established that you need braces, you may be wondering what happens next.
Most importantly, understand that braces aren’t scary, and should have a minimal impact on your life. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and more stylish than ever before.
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
- Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment; in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait to receive treatment.
- What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
- You — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for children or teens. The American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, they want to feel better about their appearance, and they want to give themselves the smile they’ve always wanted.
Reasons for adult orthodontics:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, resulting in teeth fitting together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly allowing for tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain caused by crooked teeth
- The desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Adult treatment options
Many adults still think of metal braces and are dissuaded from seeking care. However, just like youth options, today's treatments offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs, including:
- Traditional metal braces
- Clear, ceramic braces
While children and teens can receive orthodontic care while their jawbones are still developing, adults may need extra help for proper alignment. This may necessitate orthognathic surgery, another valuable tool to help propel patients towards wearing their best possible smile: Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss — Gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease place adults at a much higher risk to experience gum recession or bone loss. Patients with straighter teeth are less susceptible to these effects.
- Worn or missing teeth — Time can cause teeth to become worn down and shift into positions that require orthodontic care to correct. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete youth orthodontic treatment — Many adults that seek orthodontic treatment already received some as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. Then, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted. It’s never too late to make a positive change!
Everyone is unique, with those differences even more apparent between youth and adults. Levels of attention and care needed can vary greatly between patients, but we promise to ensure that you always receive the most appropriate treatments, and that we will strive to meet your needs.
Orthodontic treatment can provide strong benefits:
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, helping to prevent many health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can give a significant boost to your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back.
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create costly long-term health issues.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics please contact us to schedule an appointment. We will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.