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 in a crowded mouth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
Signs that your child should 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
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or not 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 Adults
Orthodontic treatment is not just for teens. The American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults choose to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and you can too.
Reasons for treatment as an adult:
- Properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing.
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly.
- Crowded or spaced apart teeth, eventually leading to tooth decay or gum disease.
- Abnormal jaw pain or pressure caused by misaligned teeth.
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more aesthetic smile.
- Not receiving orthodontic treatment now can create long-term health issues, costing more in the end.
Treatment differences for adults:
For many adults, the concept of metal braces discourages them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, discreet, and customized for you.
Treating adults versus children or teens differs because the jawbones of younger patients are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, and in order to achieve a great bite and esthetic smile, orthognathic surgery is more often required to align the jawbones into the proper position. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults more commonly experience gum recession and/or bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straight teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth become worn down and shift into different positions only correctable with orthodontic care. Missing teeth may cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating malocclusion and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received orthodontic treatment in their adolescence, which was left incomplete. As an adult, completing orthodontic treatment achieves the healthy, beautiful smile not previously achieved.
We know adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure the most appropriate treatments, and your needs are met with understanding and respect from us. Learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics by contacting our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand schedules are busy and will work to make each office visit as convenient as possible for you.