Orthodontics for Younger Children
By age 7, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth while some baby teeth are still present. That's important, because some orthodontic problems are best to correct earlier than later.
For these reasons, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist for a screening exam around age seven or eight. That doesn't mean that every seven or eight year old needs braces as only a small percent do. If your child doesn’t need any early treatment, then at least you have that peace of mind. Even if a problem is detected, Dr. Williams may not recommend immeditate treatment. He may take a "wait and see" approach and just monitor your child's dental development periodically.
If needed, early treatment (also known as Phase One) typically begins around age eight or nine and typically lasts around one year. The goal of early treatment is to correct certain issues such as severe crowding, certain bite problems, and jaw growth imbalances. Early treatment can prevent more serious problems from developing and helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.
How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting food
- Crossbites (teeth biting on the wrong side of the opposing teeth)
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that don't bite together in a normal manner or even at all
- Thumb or finger sucking beyond age five
- Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
How will early treatment benefit my child?
Early treatment can benefit your child by intercepting the developing problem, eliminating the cause, guiding the growth of the jaw bones, and providing adequate space for incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment now can give your child a better outcome for the future.
Early Orthodontic Treatment Options
Early orthodontic treatment could involve options that range from an expander, partial braces, rubber bands, or other appliances to guide the growth of the jaws and teeth. A more recent option now includes Invisalign First.
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, just call us to schedule a free consultation. Dr. Williams would be happy to evaluate your child's teeth and bite to determine if any early treatment is needed.
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!
Straighten Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of appliances to choose from. Some common options include:
Orthodontics is a big part of life for many teens. Today's braces and Invisalign make it easy to look good and feel good! Just contact our office to schedule a free orthodontic consultation.
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, 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
- Progressing tooth wear or cracking teeth due to an improper bite
- 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 are more aesthetic then ever. Types of orthodontic appliances include:
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 and your dentist to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment, 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, just contact us to schedule a free consultation.