Orthodontics is not simply about a beautiful smile and improved
self confidence. Orthodontic care contributes to better
overall dental health. When teeth are placed in the correct
alignment, they are easier to clean which makes them more
resistant to decay and gum disease. Correct alignment can
also prevent uneven wear on teeth, which often contributes
to jaw discomfort and fractured teeth. In essence, orthodontics
lays the foundation for better oral health.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and
adults especially appreciate the benefits of a great smile.
In fact, one in fi ve patients wearing braces is over
21! Today’s smaller, lighter bracket and wire systems
make braces more comfortable, practical and less obtrusive
than ever before. And, for those who want a beautiful
smile without braces, new Invisalign® technology may
be an option.
When should treatment start?
For the majority of young patients, it is best to delay
treatment until most of their permanent teeth have erupted.
That usually occurs between the ages of 11 or 12. However
for some children, earlier treatment is best. This includes
kids with cross bites, severe jaw imbalances, excessive
crowding, and early loss of baby teeth. Because bones grow
so rapidly during childhood, we can often reduce total treatment
time and achieve better results by addressing these problems
earlier, between age 7 and 10. Usually, this involves a
two-phase treatment plan. After the first phase of treatment,
we use retainers to hold the alignment and spaces. Once
all of the permanent teeth have erupted, the patient is
ready for a full set of braces.