You can schedule an orthodontic consultation and evaluation for your child as early as 7 years old. Early orthodontic treatment and intervention can be extremely effective and beneficial. A tongue thrust, developing jaw problems, and overcrowding can be intercepted. The jaw, bite, and permanent teeth are guided into ideal growth, which helps with facial symmetry, speech, breathing, and long-term stability of teeth; improves confidence; and allows for proper chewing and biting.
However, just because it’s better to start orthodontics young doesn’t mean you can’t start as an adult! Straightening teeth and adjusting the bite will boost self-confidence and have a positive impact on oral health at any age! For example, a more aligned bite makes eating easier and more enjoyable, and straighter teeth are less challenging to keep clean and healthy.
COMMON TYPES OF ORTHODONTIC TREATMENTS
There are a wide variety of orthodontic treatment options to fit each patient’s unique orthodontic needs, lifestyle, and preferences. Early intervention options could involve space maintainers or a palatal expander. Later treatment usually consists of one of the following:
Traditional braces are a tried-and-true and versatile orthodontic treatment. It is an advanced bracket and wire system that applies force from the wires to move and reposition teeth. Braces are a great solution for mild to advanced orthodontic cases.
Clear Aligner Therapy
Clear aligner therapy involves smooth and transparent retainer-like trays to push teeth into their desired positions. The aligners are worn at least 20-22 hours a day and are removed to eat and drink anything other than water and to clean the teeth. Clear aligners are appropriate for responsible teens and adults with mild to moderate misalignment.
If you or your child have a complex orthodontic case but want to discreetly straighten teeth, ceramic braces are a more subtle option than traditional braces. Ceramic braces use tooth-colored ceramic brackets and lighter-colored wires instead of the traditional silver.