For Children and Adults
In accordance with the American Association of Orthodontists, our office recommends that children should be seen for an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. At that time, permanent teeth are beginning to erupt, and problems such as crossbite, crowding, or unusual jaw growth can be evaluated. At this first visit, we will evaluate your child’s teeth, bite and jaw alignment and recommend early, or “Phase I” treatment if needed.
Phase I (Early) Treatment:
Phase I treatment is usually initiated between the ages of 7 and 10, before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. It is strongly recommended when there is early evidence that the jaws are not aligned properly, or that there is not enough room for all of the teeth to erupt in the arches. Phase I treatment can include palate expanders, which widen the upper jaw to better align with the lower, and space maintainers which can maintain the space available for future eruption of permanent teeth. Thumb sucking habits can be treated with a habitbreaker appliance at an early age, to reduce the open bites that often result from this habit. Phase I treatment can often reduce the need for future extractions, improve jaw alignment, correct habits, and often reduce the time spent in braces later if another phase is required.
Phase II Treatment (Comprehensive) Treatment:
Phase II treatment may be recommended when most of the permanent teeth have erupted. For many patients, this will be the first time that they will begin any orthodontic treatment. Treatment could involve braces, appliances and elastic wear. For patients whose jaws are growing in unusual ways that may require future surgery, teeth can be aligned at this time to prepare for this procedure. Timing of orthodontic treatment is usually dependent on how many teeth have erupted, rather than age of the patient.
More adults are seeking orthodontic treatment these days than ever before, whether to improve their smiles, correct their bites, or align certain teeth for future dental work such as implants or bridges. Options include ceramic braces, Invisalign, retainers, and orthognathic surgery to improve jaw alignment. As adult teeth are sometimes more compromised than childrens’, treatment may involve integrated care between orthodontist, dentist and other specialists.
We are happy to coordinate our care with your other dental providers and specialists.
Find Out If You’re a Good Candidate for Braces
The good news is that you are never too old for braces! As long as there are no contraindications such as periodontal disease, most adults are good candidates for orthodontic treatment.
Contact our office today to set up a consultation and being the process of finding your smile.