Orthodontics for Children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist no later than age 7.
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 at the correct time.
If needed, 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 or finger sucking
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
- 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 practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
Orthodontics for Teens
Braces, retainers, and everything else that you want to know about orthodontics!
Many teens today are happy to hear the phrase: “YOU NEED BRACES!”
Braces! What now?
Don't worry! Braces today are a lot easier than they used to be in the past- much smaller, different materials, and with lighter force wires that allow patient discomfort to be minimal. They also come in a variety of styles and colors, making life with braces much more stylish than they were traditionally.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on a number of key factors:
- Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to correct specific problems early on and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary (two phases). Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment; in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait to receive treatment.
- What needs correction — The severity of the problems and hence the amount of treatment needed to correct them will determine how long the process takes. Treatment times vary greatly depending on whether the case is simple or more complex and how much work is needed to give you the beautiful smile you expect.
- How your teeth respond to treatment — Different patients react to treatments differently. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds to your prescribed treatment.
- YOU! — You are probably the most important factor in how quickly your treatment goes! Your compliance and willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you play 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 time shorter!
Braces Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:
- Metal braces
- Clear (ceramic) braces
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good. It is a small sacrifice to pay to achieve a beautiful smile that last a lifetime!
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, possibly contributing to tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more beautiful, confident smile
Treatment options for adults
Today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of orthodontic treatment we offer for adults include metal braces as well as clear (ceramic) braces and in many cases Invisalign clear aligners.
There are some differences between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens. The main difference in treating adults vs. children and teens is that in younger patients the jawbones are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which can make orthodontic treatment somewhat more challenging. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or gum (periodontal) disease. Thus maintaining great oral hygiene as well as frequent visits to your dentist are critical during orthodontic treatment.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment, or were not diligent about wearing their retainers after treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete or redo their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they now desire.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments, and that your needs are met with empathy, care, and respect.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without hesitation!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term dental and/or health issues costing you more in the end.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.