Braces for all Ages
It's best for the orthodontist to see children by age 8 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and the best time for treatment to begin. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated.
Early treatment can simplify later treatment by allowing your orthodontist to:
- Guide the growth of your child's jaws and guide incoming permanent teeth.
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches.
- Create more space for crowded teeth.
- Prevent abnormal wear of permanent teeth.
- Prevent the need for future extraction of permanent teeth.
- Correct harmful habits such as thumb sucking.
- Eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems
A few things to look for that may indicate your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth.
- Finger or thumb sucking habits.
- Upper teeth fitting inside of lower teeth (cross bite).
- If your child has a hard time chewing or biting food.
Braces aren't just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be achieved at any age! In fact, studies clearly show straight teeth and healthy gums have a positive effect on your overall health, particularly your heart. Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.
The new techniques and appliances we use greatly increase comfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits and shorten treatment time. You may have several options to choose from. Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces, transparent aligners or a combination of these.
It's never too late to improve your greatest asset – your smile!
Common reasons for adults to consider orthodontic treatment:
- Bite problems, or malocclusion, causing teeth to not fit together correctly
- Crowding or spacing of the teeth, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal pain, or pressure, in the jaw that is often caused by crooked teeth
- To have a healthier and more confident smile
The differences between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens: The main difference is that children and teens have jawbones that are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may mean the possibility of orthognathic (jaw) surgery, in which the jawbones are surgically aligned.
Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease)
- Worn or missing teeth
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a child or teen
- These days, adults make up nearly half of orthodontic patients hoping to finally get the perfect smile they've always dreamed about.
Life with Braces
After the doctor develops the individualized treatment plan, you are now ready to get your braces! For most patients, this is the appointment where the doctor places the braces on the teeth and a wire is secured into the braces. At this time, we will discuss the importance of proper care of the teeth and braces.
Some orthodontic problems require additional appliances to help achieve our goal of a beautiful smile. If the doctors plan to use an additional appliance, a separator will be placed one week prior to the placement of orthodontic bands. A separator, which is a small rubber band, will be inserted between the back teeth and will allow for easier placement of the bands.
Once the braces are in place, you will visit our office to review your treatment progress at intervals of 4-12 weeks, depending on your specific needs. At these appointments, a number of different procedures might be done in order to assure the continued progress of your treatment. This includes the placement of new wires, the use of rubber bands, and the review of home care instructions.
Upon completion of treatment, the braces will be removed and post-treatment models, x-rays, and pictures are taken. Retainers are then made to hold the teeth in place.