Below are a few commonly asked questions.
When to See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity to prevent serious problems later in life. As teeth erupt, an orthodontist can evaluate tooth relationships and jaw growth that may indicate possible overbite, under bite, open bite, crossbite, etc. If detected early, these growth patterns may be intercepted and guided into correct alignment which will eliminate or simplify treatment later in life if needed.
There are many benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. The list of negative effects is much longer. Crowded teeth are difficult to properly brush and floss which may contribute to gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping and breakage. Improper jaw alignment can cause inefficient chewing function, excessive wear on teeth, stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth. Misalignment of the jaw and its joints may lead to chronic headaches and long term damage to the TMJ system.
How Ortho Works?
There are many types of Orthodontic appliances. Many are made of metal, ceramic, acrylic or plastic and come in removable and bonded forms. Brackets are made of metal and ceramics and are coupled with ligatures or color ties chosen by you at each appointment. Gentle force is used, allowing the prescribed appliance to slowly move teeth to a corrected position. We use the latest materials to move teeth with the least possible discomfort to patients. Treatment time is typically from one to three years, depending on patient’s growth and response to treatment. If prescribed, patient cooperation by using rubber bands or headgear is also an important factor in length of treatment. Tray aligning systems, like Invisalign, and preventative and early treatment procedures usually take less time.
What age will my child need braces?
Children are very unique! Although there are “normal” ages for teeth to erupt, not all children will follow these rules. Braces will only be an option after a complete evaluation by Dr. Jen. She will guide you and make recommendations concerning timing of orthodontic appliances. We strive for concise and time efficient treatment!