Orthodontic treatment is more than just braces to straighten a child’s teeth. We can correct jaw relationships, airway (breathing) problems, protect jaw joints and reopen spaces where teeth have drifted in. These treatments can be effective for clients of any age.
When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment for each patient. The Canadian and American Associations of Orthodontists recommend that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the bite on the back teeth. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for a beautiful smile.
What are the advantages of “interceptive treatment”?
Interceptive treatment refers to dealing with potential problems before growth is complete. Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing 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 can improve an improper bite (malocclusion). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. This can affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Why should malocclusions 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. Cross bites can result in unfavourable growth and uneven tooth wear. Open bites can result in tongue-thrust-swallowing habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics can do more than make a beautiful smile—it can create a healthier you.
Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults.
While orthodontic treatment at later stages in life is often to improve aesthetics, improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint wear and pain.
Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces, or transparent aligners (trays) that can be worn at night to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth. Many of our adult patients are surprised to learn that some teeth can be straightened without braces. A set of clear, removable aligners, can sometimes be used in place of traditional braces; the most common brand is called Invisalign although there are now several brands available.
What is an orthodontist?
A specialist with advanced training in dental/facial growth and development and tooth positioning is called an orthodontist. We may refer you to see an orthodontist if you have a challenging case.