Orthodontics for Children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist by age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, which makes it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner. This can prevent jaw surgery or the extraction of permanent teeth.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight and in the right position
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower jaws
- 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
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 or misplace teeth
- Jaws that pop, click, or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all in the front (open bite)
- Crowded front teeth
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation in order to detect any orthodontic problems.
Orthodontics for Teens
races aren’t nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier and more comfortable.
How long will I have to wear braces?
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. Early treatment, if needed, will shorten a patient's overall time in braces.
- 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 22 months. It can also depend on how quickly your teeth respond.
- YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances or attachments 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!
Braces Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of braces types and styles to choose from. Some common options include:
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- SPEED braces
Orthodontics for Adults
The American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to undergo treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about the appearance of their smile.
Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, which causes teeth to fit together incorrectly, which can cause wear on the teeth
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure caused by crooked teeth
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more 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 everyone's needs. Types of braces include:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- SPEED braces
- Lingual (behind the tooth) braces
- Invisalign aligners
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens
The main difference to remember when treating adults or children and teens, is that in younger patients the jawbones are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may meanjaw surgery would be required to align the jawbones. 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 advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- 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 did not wear their retainers as they were instructed. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment or to be retreated to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require different levels of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatments, and your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.
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 holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it’s needed can create long-term health issues that cost you more in the end.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.