When should I consider Braces?
Your dentist may have discussed with you the benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This can result in tooth decay, worsen gum disease, and lead to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, in efficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints. These can lead to chronic headaches and face or neck pain. Treatment by an orthodontist can be less costly than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you’ll feel more self-confident.
Orthodontics for children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontics 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 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 sound when opening or 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 seven or eight
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. If fact, the American Association of Orthodontics states 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 talking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Common Reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
- Desire for 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. However, today’s orthodontic treatment options 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
What is 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 mean the possibility of orthognathic surgery to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) – Adults are more likely that 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. 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 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 costing you more in the long run.
To learn more about the benefits of adults orthodontics, please contact out practice to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make each office visit is as convenient as possible.
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. you can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
When will i see results?
Treatment time typically rangers from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient’s mouth, face and the severity of the problem and if doctor and patient decide upon adding accelerated treatment to the treatment plan. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time at case completion may differ from the original estimate. They patient’s diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment as a patient cooperation with appointments if Wilkodontics is indicated. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months to complete.