Treatment for All Ages
The majority of patients undergoing orthodontic care are children and teens. When kids are young, their jaws are constantly growing to accommodate new teeth. It is during this time that the teeth are easily moved, allowing for a shorter treatment time – especially in patients who undergo early treatment. Braces, retainers, and spacers are just some of the orthodontic appliances commonly used in children’s orthodontics. Although not all kids need orthodontic treatment, all kids need exams at an early age. Some signs that a child may eventually require orthodontic treatment include:
- Jaw is disproportionate to the face
- Has a habit of frequent thumb-sucking
- Chronically breathes from the mouth rather than the nose
- Primary teeth fall out too soon or too late
- Exhibits malocclusion (overbite/underbite)
- Visible crowding
Did you know?
that children should have their first orthodontic screening no later than age 7? This orthodontic evaluation is used to identify jaw irregularities and developmental complications that could indicate the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. Early screenings make it possible to get early treatment, with some children beginning progressive orthodontic treatments as early as age 7.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to bring my child to an orthodontist?
If your child is at least 7 years old or is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your child’s orthodontist can take steps to correct a bad bite, fill in gaps, and straighten the teeth all before your child reaches the teen years.
What should I expect at my child’s first orthodontist appointment?
Your child’s first orthodontic screening will include a visual examination as well as maxillofacial x-rays. Your child’s orthodontist may also ask you questions about your child’s habits, such as thumb and finger-sucking. Based on the results of this analysis, the orthodontist will discuss options and timeframes for treatment if applicable.
Will I need to follow any special instructions if my child is fitted for a dental appliance?
Yes. If your child is fitted for a fixed orthodontic appliance, such as braces, you will need to follow careful instructions to ensure the device is not damaged or broken. This includes monitoring your child’s diet to ensure it does not include hard foods, candies, popcorn kernels, or anything else that could cause damage. You’ll also need to ensure your child properly brushings and flosses around the appliance to protect the teeth from decay during treatment.
Everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of, and many achieve straightened, well-aligned teeth after undergoing orthodontic treatment as a child. But for adults who do not have the privilege of having straight teeth, orthodontics are still an option. In fact, there is no such thing as being too old for orthodontic treatment. More adults than ever are seeking straighter teeth – perhaps due to advancements in modern dentistry that allow for more discreet and less invasive orthodontic treatments. And braces aren’t becoming popular for cosmetic reasons alone. Rather, many adults are realizing the long-term oral health benefits associated with having straighter teeth.
Did you know?
There are many myths surrounding braces and adult orthodontics:
- MYTH: Adults don’t get braces.
- FACT: Approximately 20 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults over age 18.
- MYTH: Braces are too embarrassing as an adult.
- FACT: Today’s braces can be made from ceramic to blend in with your natural tooth shade. Many adults also opt for removable braces made of clear and discreet aligning trays.
- MYTH: I don’t want to spend years in braces.
- FACT: You probably won’t have to. Many adults complete orthodontic treatment in just months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for adult orthodontics?
You may be a candidate for adult orthodontics if your teeth are crowded, overlapping, crooked, or have gaps between them. To find out more about your treatment options, schedule a consultation with your orthodontist.
What should I expect during adult orthodontic treatment?
During your orthodontic screening, you will undergo an examination and digital imaging to determine the position of your teeth and bite. Your orthodontist will map out a treatment plan designed to give you the straightest teeth possible in the least amount of time. Depending on the type of braces you choose – traditional or removable – you’ll be fitted for your appliance and given instructions on how frequently to return for follow-up appointments.
Will I need to follow any special instructions while I have my braces?
Yes. If you are wearing clear aligners, you’ll need to change out your trays every few days or weeks. You’ll also be instructed to wear your aligners at all times, with the exception of during meals and while brushing your teeth. If you have traditional metal or ceramic braces, you may be given special instructions to avoid biting down on hard or chewy foods, such as popcorn kernels, ice, and taffy.