Orthodontics for Younger Children
By age 7, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. That's important, because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they're found early.
For these reasons, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Of course, the check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine, and that can be comforting news.
Even if a problem is detected, Dr. Williams may not recommend immediate treatment. He may take a "wait-and-see" approach, checking on your child from time to time as the permanent teeth come in and the jaws and face continue to grow. For each patient who needs treatment, there's an ideal time for treatment to begin in order to achieve the best results. The orthodontist is the specialist who has the knowledge to determine when the time is just right.
In some cases, we might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment. Early orthodontic treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing, and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Early treatment may involve the use of partial braces, expanders, or other orthodontic appliances to guide the growth of young bones and create a better environment for adult teeth as they emerge. In some cases, we will be able to achieve results that wouldn't be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Create more space for future permanent teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaws
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 (your child should typically start losing teeth around age six, and will have all permanent teeth around age 12)
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting food
- Thumb or finger sucking beyond age five
- Crossbites (teeth biting on the wrong side of the opposing teeth)
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that don't come together in a normal manner or even at all
- Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
To help determine if early treatment is needed or not, contact our office to schedule an orthodontic evaluation at NO CHARGE. Early treatment now may give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
Orthodontics for Teens
You have just heard "You need braces!" Now what?
Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
- What needs correction — The severity of the dental problems will determine how long the process takes. Limited issues can be quick to correct even in 6-9 months. Other bite issues take 18-24 months.
- You! — Different patients react to treatments differently. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
- Cooperation! — Your willingness to cooperate and use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!
Braces Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:
- Metal braces
- Clear ceramic braces
- Invisalign Teen
Orthodontics is a big part of life for many teens. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule an orthodontic consultation.
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists 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 taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Adult survey results:
The American Association of Orthodontists surveyed adult orthodontic patients ages 18-54 after their orthodontic treatment was complete. The survey results indicated that orthodontics had a significant influence on their lives. Survey results were:
- 83% reported improved personal relationships
- 58% reported improved career success
- 92% reported they would recommend orthodontic treatment to other adults
Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:
- Desire for a more confident smile
- 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 that is caused by an improper bite
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 orthodontic appliances include:
- Clear ceramic braces
- Metal braces
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 dental issues 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.