Orthodontics for Children
While there is no specific age for children to start orthodontic care, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends visiting the orthodontist at age seven.
Around this age, the majority of children have a mixture of baby and adult teeth, making it easy for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems, without having to result to 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
It’s difficult for some parent’s to know if your child will 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 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 office to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment results in a healthy, beautiful smile quicker.
Braces, retainers, and everything else you need or want to know about orthodontics!
Every teen dreads the words “You need braces!”
Braces! What Now?
Not to worry! Braces are not nearly as scary as you think. In fact braces these days come in so many styles, materials, and colors making life with braces easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than before.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time you have to wear braces depends on three 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, and in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait until they are older 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, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete their 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!
Here are some options of braces our office offers:
- Ceramic braces
- Invisible braces
- Lingual braces
- Traditional metal braces
What can I eat while wearing braces?
You’ve probably heard from your parents, friends, and even your orthodontist, the long list of foods and beverages that you should avoid while wearing braces. While it may seem like you’re giving up a lot, it is important to avoid eating certain foods. We also want you to enjoy your braces experience, so here’s a quick list of foods to avoid and foods to embrace while wearing braces.
Foods to avoid while wearing braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat while wearing braces:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry – soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats – ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
For people your age braces are a major part of life. Even though braces have had a bad reputation in the past, today’s braces make it easy to look and feel good. Please call our office to schedule your next appointment.
Braces are no longer just for teenagers. In fact the American Association of Orthodontics cites that one in five patients are now over the age of 21. Many adults are committing to braces because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to be more confident about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of orthodontic care, and you can too.
Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic care:
- 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-legating braces
- Lingual (behind the tooth) braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens
The main difference is that when treating adults the jawbones have stopped growing, which may mean a greater possibility of surgery to align the jawbones.
Other differences may include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than 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 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.