Orthodontics for Children
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/Late loss of baby teeth
- If your child has 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 7 or 8
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.
Orthodontic Treatment for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens; in fact the American Association of Orthodontists sites 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 are considering orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite, or malocclusion causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- If the teeth are crowded or spaced apart possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal pain, or pressure in the jaw that is caused by crooked teeth
- To have a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Treatment options for adults
For many adults the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. Today's orthodontic treatment options however offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Lingual (behind the tooth) braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:
There are actually not many differences between adult and child orthodontics; however in children and teens the jawbones are still developing. For adults these bones have stopped growing which may mean the possibility of orthognathic surgery, in which the jawbones are surgically aligned. 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 the possibility of getting gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen but never completed their treatment. As an adult they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy beautiful smile they always wanted.
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 understanding, respect, and full commitment 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 and end up 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.