There are several benefits of having healthy teeth and
proper jaw alignment. Crowded or crooked teeth are difficult to clean and
maintain. Crowding can result in tooth decay, worsen gum disease which can lead
to tooth loss. Orthodontic problems can also contribute to abnormal wear of the
tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing, excessive stress on the supporting bone and
gum. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of
orthodontics, which in turn boosts self esteem and self confidence.
Braces for Children
Most orthodontic patients begin active treatment between ages 9 and 14. However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up by age 7. This is because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if found early. While your child’s teeth may appear straight, there could be problems
that only an orthodontist can detect. By age 7, the first permanent molars and
incisors have usually come in and crossbites and crowding and other problems can
be evaluated. With early treatment, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the
jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the
width of the upper and lower dental arches, avoid the need for extractions of
permanent teeth, gain space for permanent teeth and reduce the likelihood of
impacted permanent teeth. This early phase of treatment is known as Phase I or
early interceptive treatment. Second phase, or comprehensive, treatment starts
when all the permanent teeth have erupted and consists of finishing alignment
and bite of the newly erupted permanent teeth.
Braces for Adults
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Adults definitely appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. Jaw surgery may be required to correct jaw malalignment that may exists in adults. Periodontal therapy may also be indicated before, during or after orthodontic treatment to treat the gum and supporting bone. Bone loss may limit
the amount and direction of tooth movement.
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