For All Ages
Your Child's First Orthodontic Checkup : No Later than Age Seven
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. As a parent you want the best for your child. That includes healthly teeth and a beautiful smile. Start with regular dental care. The American Dental Association recommends that a child visit the dentist by their first birthday, while baby teeth are emerging. Your dentist can alert you to developing problems. However many times parents are the first to rcognize a problem with the alignment of the teeth and jaws.
By age seven, 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. Some problems can benefit from several parts or "phases" of treatment. If recommended "Early" treatment is undertaken only after thorough treatment planning that includes special orthodontic radiographs and study models of the teeth.
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 early orthodontic treatment so when in doubt contact our office for a consultation. Even if no immediate treatment needs are present we will likely recommend your child be placed in our recall system for periodic monitoring and re-evaluation as the teeth and jaws develop.Putting off a checkup until your child has lost all baby teeth could be a disservice. The American Association of Orthodontists website mylifemysmile.org provides excellant information on the subject.
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 sounds when opening and 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
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 Teens
Braces, retainers, and everything else that you want to know about orthodontics!
You've just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!”
Braces! What now?
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:
- Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment; in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait to receive treatment.
- What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. 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.
- YOU! — Your willingness to 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:
- Ceramic braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. 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 your next orthodontic checkup.