Orthodontics for Children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists 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.
Also called phase 1 treatment, or interceptive treatment, early orthodontic 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
- Look for any bite issues, like a crossbite, open bite or a deep bite
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Reducing the chance of needing permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb-sucking to avoid any resulting long-term tooth and jaw deformities
- Help improve minor speech problems resulting from jaw and tooth deformities
For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. However, there are several warning signs you can look for in your child to know when it’s time to visit an orthodontist. These signs include the following:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Excessive mouth breathing or snoring
- 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
- Significant gaps in tooth placement that don’t self-correct
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
For many of these cases, early braces for kids may be a good solution. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation for your child. Early orthodontic treatment now will help ensure your child lives with a healthier, more beautiful smile going into the future.
Orthodontics for Teens
Many teenagers dread their dentist and orthodontist visits, balking at the idea of getting braces. The last thing they want to hear is that they need metal fixtures on their teeth. However, there’s no need to worry! While teens may dread the notion, there are more options in braces than ever before for teenagers needing orthodontic treatment. 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.
Regardless of these options, many teenagers still worry about their orthodontic treatments. Fortunately, Uniquely You Orthodontics is here to answer some of their most burning questions.
- When do I have to start wearing braces? There is no right age for braces — it all depends on the urgency of your orthodontic needs. Don’t worry about what age your friends got their braces. Each mouth is unique.
- How long do I have to wear braces? This is usually the first question we get from our teenage patients. The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
- Early treatment: Early treatment during childhood and early adolescence allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of a child’s jaw and teeth so they can prevent more severe orthodontic issues and recommend further treatment as 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 is the biggest factor in determining how long a treatment process will take. 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 and care for the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Properly caring for your braces and appliances and using them in the way they were intended will help make your treatment shorter so you can get your braces off more quickly.
- What Options Do I Have? At Uniquely You Orthodontics we offer a huge number of different types of braces to choose from, including a wide variety of brace types and styles. Some of the most common options we offer include:
- Ceramic braces
- Invisible braces
- Lingual braces
- Traditional metal braces
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people in their teenage years. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today’s braces make it easy to look good and feel good while you work toward that stunning new smile! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.
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 dental health, and they want to feel better about the appearance of their smile. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Some of the most common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment include the following:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth that 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
While these desires are valid, many adults are reluctant to seek orthodontic help. For many adults, the thought of having adult braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. For many, the very idea of braces for adults seems somewhat juvenile. However, today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, 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
Adult orthodontics are very different from those meant for children and teens, primarily because of the different needs of adults as opposed to adolescents. The primary differences include the following:
- Growing Needs: 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. This means their jawbones will be slower to adjust to moving teeth. It also means it’s more likely they’ll need orthognathic surgery to align their jawbones properly. In other words, orthodontic treatments for adults usually take longer to work than treatments for adolescents.
- Gum or Bone Loss: Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. This is one reason why many patients seek out orthodontic treatment as adults — people with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease. It’s also a factor to consider during orthodontic treatment, because gum and bone loss can negatively affect treatment, lengthening the overall process.
- 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. Orthodontics have to account for these missing and worn teeth and adjust appropriately to bring about the desired results.
- Incomplete Orthodontic Treatment in Adolescence: Many adults received some type of orthodontic treatment as a child or teenager. However, some adults never completed their treatment for one reason or another. As an adult, many choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.
At Uniquely You Orthodontics, our practice recognizes that adults have different needs from children and adolescents, 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?
Adults with problematic teeth or children with tooth and jaw problems are often on the fence about seeking orthodontic treatment. After all, these treatments are often lengthy and costly. What people need to consider, however, is how much good orthodontics can do for people. Some of the biggest things to consider when considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child include:
- 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 in the future. This is particularly important for teenagers and children, who will experience fewer dental health problems in the long run if their teeth are properly aligned early in life.
- A Beautiful, Straight Smile Builds Confidence: Orthodontic treatment can help boost a patient’s 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.
Seek Orthodontic Services Today
Orthodontic treatment offers huge benefits at every age, whether you’re seeking treatment for your kindergartener with a clicking jaw or trying to fix your own crooked teeth. No matter what the problem, Uniquely You Orthodontics is here to help you find the solution that best suits you and your needs.
If you have questions about orthodontics or are looking for an orthodontics provider to help you and your family work toward better smiles, look no further than Uniquely You Orthodontics. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and set you up with an appointment to determine your needs and an appropriate treatment plan.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the benefits of orthodontics at every age. 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.