When is the best time to begin orthodontics (braces)?
Though an orthodontist can enhance your smile at any age, there is an optimal time to begin treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but an examination can help anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
An early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention helps redirect growth and development, preventing serious skeletal problems later. When early orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is the ideal time.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars have erupted, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile and an easier treatment in later years.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry by redirecting jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Why should malocclusions (bad bites) be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping or breaking. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier mouth.
No one is ever too old for braces